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Old 05-10-2017, 11:40 AM
 
Location: SW OK (AZ Native)
11,971 posts, read 5,483,632 times
Reputation: 5359

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Part of the problem is a cycle, often politically/budget driven, in which overages are dealt with in a draconian manner. 1993-1995, for example. (Note to all: this is MILITARY LIFE ISSUES, keep political commentary out of this.) I was fortunate to be promoted to major as an RTU instructor at Luke AFB while a large number of fellow F-16 pilots were passed over as captains, and had no recourse. It was difficult for them, Guard and Reserve units were maxed out in manning, some were restructuring from fighters to cargo. The airlines were just starting to hire again. So those poor guys were left in the cold. Patch wearers at Nellis (for those not familiar, it's a term used to describe a graduate of the USAF Fighter Weapons School, the Air Force equivalent of Top Gun), flight commanders, staffers, didn't matter. Combat vets from Desert Storm were not exempt. Then in 2001 there was a need for pilots again, then in 2008 we don't need them, etc. As Ops Group commander I would be briefed on accessions and assignments at the weekly staff meeting with my squadron commanders, and they would tell me who was inbound, and worse, who was leaving. "Sir, Captain Umptyphratz and Major Bagodonuts just put in their papers, one has a UPS class in 3 months and the other inherited the family tire business." Bonuses don't really help, and the ten-year commitment (mine was six) after pilot training doesn't help, especially for a generation that has a hard time planning five months in advance, let alone five years.

The investment in time is a deterrent as well. Apply to ROTC or the Academy, get your physical, get accepted, spend 4 years in a traditional college or at The Zoo, attend flight screening if needed (I did not, as I had a private certificate already), get commissioned, then wait for pilot training. If you're lucky like I was that wait is only a couple months... some ROTC students spend 9 months waiting. Then go through the rigorous SUPT course, 12-13 months, then if you're accepted for fighters and you actually get your wings (remember, about half of students don't make it, and they're not lowering the standards) it's two months of IFF, a month of survival training, and 5 to 8 months of follow-on. That's a six or seven year investment in time. There was a reason a lot of higher-performing students in the T-37 and now T-6 opted to fly heavies; they were "guaranteed" to graduate, because the washout rate in the heavy track is very low, but high in the fighter track. (Note: when I went through UPT there were no tracks, everyone flew the T-38, we received our class standing about six weeks before graduation, so we knew where we might be going.)

In the end it's about service. I was given the rare privilege of being "handed the keys"* to a 4th-generation fighter but there was no guarantee until my assignment night. That was understood, and I was fired up about whatever I got.

* There are no keys to the F-16, nor to the A-10 which was my first assignment.

Last edited by SluggoF16; 05-10-2017 at 11:48 AM..
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:57 PM
 
4,128 posts, read 1,561,265 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taiko View Post
Does the USAF have an equivalent to the US Army's Cadet Troop Leadership Training (CTLT) for both ROTC and West Point Cadets?

For the OP, the only solution if the DOD can't send its volunteer soldiers when and where as needed because of a restrictive contract with an opt out at every level and possible duty assignment is to go back to December 1942. A time with all the services depended upon conscription and the DOD decided where those whose draft call up came were assigned and what they were trained in.
Yes and said draft would depend upon a FORMAL declaration of war by a quarm of the house and senate. If we are not in a formal declared war for our own national sovernty why shouldn't military members be able to walk away if they wash out of flight?


IF we are not in a fight for our lives we don't NEED these people to go be whipping boys in some sub par job if they wash out of flight, they can go live their lives with their bachelors degree and get a civilian job (or stay in govt service as a GS depending what their degree is).


The existing construct is pure manipulation and control.
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:59 PM
 
4,128 posts, read 1,561,265 times
Reputation: 2570
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
I think you never really understood what military service actually is.


Lots of people don't.


It's not about being guaranteed to get what you want solely for your own jollies, it's about serving.
I would wager money that every fighter pilot does it for their own jollys some just get more lucky than others when they roll the blind contract manipulation dice.
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Old 05-10-2017, 01:39 PM
 
4,128 posts, read 1,561,265 times
Reputation: 2570
Quote:
Originally Posted by SluggoF16 View Post
Part of the problem is a cycle, often politically/budget driven, in which overages are dealt with in a draconian manner. 1993-1995, for example. (Note to all: this is MILITARY LIFE ISSUES, keep political commentary out of this.) I was fortunate to be promoted to major as an RTU instructor at Luke AFB while a large number of fellow F-16 pilots were passed over as captains, and had no recourse. It was difficult for them, Guard and Reserve units were maxed out in manning, some were restructuring from fighters to cargo. The airlines were just starting to hire again. So those poor guys were left in the cold. Patch wearers at Nellis (for those not familiar, it's a term used to describe a graduate of the USAF Fighter Weapons School, the Air Force equivalent of Top Gun), flight commanders, staffers, didn't matter. Combat vets from Desert Storm were not exempt. Then in 2001 there was a need for pilots again, then in 2008 we don't need them, etc. As Ops Group commander I would be briefed on accessions and assignments at the weekly staff meeting with my squadron commanders, and they would tell me who was inbound, and worse, who was leaving. "Sir, Captain Umptyphratz and Major Bagodonuts just put in their papers, one has a UPS class in 3 months and the other inherited the family tire business." Bonuses don't really help, and the ten-year commitment (mine was six) after pilot training doesn't help, especially for a generation that has a hard time planning five months in advance, let alone five years.

The investment in time is a deterrent as well. Apply to ROTC or the Academy, get your physical, get accepted, spend 4 years in a traditional college or at The Zoo, attend flight screening if needed (I did not, as I had a private certificate already), get commissioned, then wait for pilot training. If you're lucky like I was that wait is only a couple months... some ROTC students spend 9 months waiting. Then go through the rigorous SUPT course, 12-13 months, then if you're accepted for fighters and you actually get your wings (remember, about half of students don't make it, and they're not lowering the standards) it's two months of IFF, a month of survival training, and 5 to 8 months of follow-on. That's a six or seven year investment in time. There was a reason a lot of higher-performing students in the T-37 and now T-6 opted to fly heavies; they were "guaranteed" to graduate, because the washout rate in the heavy track is very low, but high in the fighter track. (Note: when I went through UPT there were no tracks, everyone flew the T-38, we received our class standing about six weeks before graduation, so we knew where we might be going.)

In the end it's about service. I was given the rare privilege of being "handed the keys"* to a 4th-generation fighter but there was no guarantee until my assignment night. That was understood, and I was fired up about whatever I got.

* There are no keys to the F-16, nor to the A-10 which was my first assignment.
My issue was if someone was in contract to join through ROTC (or OTS) and were getting a top teir engineering or science degree why not let them go into BUILDING the next generation fighters at say Lockheed, boeing or one of their supplier companies (pratt and whittney, GE, etc).


I mean what is an engineering grad from a top engineering school going to do in the military who washes out of flight?
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Old 05-10-2017, 02:47 PM
 
Location: SW OK (AZ Native)
11,971 posts, read 5,483,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsflyer View Post
My issue was if someone was in contract to join through ROTC (or OTS) and were getting a top teir engineering or science degree why not let them go into BUILDING the next generation fighters at say Lockheed, boeing or one of their supplier companies (pratt and whittney, GE, etc).

I mean what is an engineering grad from a top engineering school going to do in the military who washes out of flight?

He goes to AFIT or AFRL at Wright-Patterson. Which is where a student in my class went in just this scenario, and he got to work in really cool, state-of-the-art DARPA research labs.


When I was in ROTC an engineering degree was mandatory for pilot candidates. That's why I have an aero engineering degree and not a history degree.

I was a contract cadet in ROTC and had my UPT slot as a freshman. I would not have signed on the dotted line unless I was a pilot candidate. In other words, a sure thing (as long as I maintained my health, grades and moral standing, whatever that is).
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Old 05-10-2017, 03:08 PM
 
4,128 posts, read 1,561,265 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SluggoF16 View Post
He goes to AFIT or AFRL at Wright-Patterson. Which is where a student in my class went in just this scenario, and he got to work in really cool, state-of-the-art DARPA research labs.


When I was in ROTC an engineering degree was mandatory for pilot candidates. That's why I have an aero engineering degree and not a history degree.

I was a contract cadet in ROTC and had my UPT slot as a freshman. I would not have signed on the dotted line unless I was a pilot candidate. In other words, a sure thing (as long as I maintained my health, grades and moral standing, whatever that is).
Did he get lucky to be put there or did he have full say over his career post wash out? If he had full say then I wish someone would have told me that because darpa would be awesome so long as I got to work basically as a civilian and the military aspect was just a letter head on my pay check. Sitting down doing detailed design with darpa would be cool, being pseudo involved with darpa at a topical level not so cool but cool enough I suppose.


My worst nightmare was washing out of flight and then getting some BS assignment and going to sit in the desert or where ever living with a bunch of meat heads who like to scream and intimidate (yet you are not allowed to lay them out without consequences). That sort of behavior was not rare when I was in AFROTC and it only takes a few of those types who are given some measure of authority to ruin the working environment.
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Old 05-10-2017, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
12,142 posts, read 39,514,801 times
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So, what does it take to be "fighter rated" coming out of basic flight school?

Is there any real pattern as to who gets washed out of fighter training and who makes it?

Is it possible if you wash out of fighter training to opt for "heavies"? (If not, I could see a guy going heavy, to make sure he gets to fly an airplane, not a desk...)

Sorry to ask 3 lines of questions that probably take 3 pages of answer to cover, but, "inquiring minds want to know".
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Old 05-10-2017, 06:14 PM
 
4,128 posts, read 1,561,265 times
Reputation: 2570
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
So, what does it take to be "fighter rated" coming out of basic flight school?

Is there any real pattern as to who gets washed out of fighter training and who makes it?

Is it possible if you wash out of fighter training to opt for "heavies"? (If not, I could see a guy going heavy, to make sure he gets to fly an airplane, not a desk...)

Sorry to ask 3 lines of questions that probably take 3 pages of answer to cover, but, "inquiring minds want to know".
Or worse gets put working with the stereotypical meat head who is so over the top on military customs and courtesy that they flip their lid everytime your hair is a little out of regs or you refer to someone by their first name etc. I had to deal with them in AFROTC and in the guard, its not everyone but its enough to cause problems and make life suck if you get some crappy duty as a result of washing out (ie not working with darpa scientists all day. These people suck and you will know them as soon as you meet them, they like to pull rank and create a hostile work environment, they know you cant beat the hell out of them without having severe sanctions so they keep doing it.
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Old 05-10-2017, 06:54 PM
 
Location: SW OK (AZ Native)
11,971 posts, read 5,483,632 times
Reputation: 5359
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
So, what does it take to be "fighter rated" coming out of basic flight school?

Is there any real pattern as to who gets washed out of fighter training and who makes it?

Is it possible if you wash out of fighter training to opt for "heavies"? (If not, I could see a guy going heavy, to make sure he gets to fly an airplane, not a desk...)

Sorry to ask 3 lines of questions that probably take 3 pages of answer to cover, but, "inquiring minds want to know".
I will answer those questions based on my experience, which may or may not be the current status quo.

Generally the top 50% or so of the class is considered fighter qualified. Of those, roughly half end up staying on as first assignment instructor pilots. (FAIPs) Often FAIPs were assigned to trainers so they could have experience before moving on to fighters, or they asked for heavies and were given three years "to think about it" since they were fighter qualified.


The top 10% generally get what they want, where they want. If they want a KC-135 to Grand Forks, ND, so be it. I wanted an A-10 to SE US, and got it, as I was in the top 10%.

I had one guy in my AT-38 fighter lead in class wash out, and he ended up in the KC-135. He had a problem with Gs, as in pulling too many. I have known of more than one F-16 student who washed out too, in the case of a couple of Guard pilots they either sought out Guard units that have heavies, or perhaps their state had two Guard units, such as Arkansas or Iowa, with one heavy. Generally they just did not have the situational awareness and ability to fly fighters. It's not for everyone.

The Air Force will not waste a new pilot on a desk, unless a student asks for it. (Except for the early 90s but that's a different thread.)

Last edited by SluggoF16; 05-10-2017 at 07:53 PM..
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Old 05-10-2017, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
12,142 posts, read 39,514,801 times
Reputation: 9379
Quote:
Originally Posted by SluggoF16 View Post
I will answer those questions based on my experience, which may or may not be the current status quo.

Generally the top 50% or so of the class is considered fighter qualified. Of those, roughly half end up staying on as first assignment instructor pilots. (FAIPs) Often FAIPs were assigned to trainers so they could have experience before moving on to fighters, or they asked for heavies and were given three years "to think about it" since they were fighter qualified.


The top 10% generally get what they want, where they want. If they want a KC-135 to Grand Forks, ND, so be it. I wanted an A-10 to SE US, and got it, as I was in the top 10%.

I had one guy in my AT-38 fighter lead in class wash out, and he ended up in the KC-135. He had a problem with Gs, as in pulling too many. I have known of more than one F-16 student who washed out too, in the case of a couple of Guard pilots they either sought out Guard units that have heavies, or perhaps their state had two Guard units, such as Arkansas or Iowa, with one heavy. Generally they just did not have the situational awareness and ability to fly fighters. It's not for everyone.

The Air Force will not waste a new pilot on a desk, unless a student asks for it. (Except for the early 90s but that's a different thread.)
Thanks, can't rep you again. Good to know a guy who signs up to fly won't likely be pushed off to desk duty.

How is class standing determined? Sort of an overall score, including academics, flying, and (what else?)?
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