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  • Aviation Requirements and Insight?

    I have spoken to a National Guard recruiter several times, as I am extremely interested in becoming a Black Hawk (UH-60) pilot through the guard. I do not, however, have perfect 20/20 vision. The recruiter I have spoken to has told me that the guard will pay for corrective eye surgery if my vision is up to a certain degree.

    This all sounds almost too good to be true. Are there any catches? Do I need to be a prime candidate in order to be considered to this? Is it really free? And will it guarantee that I will be able to pass that section of the flight physical.

    I have the good fortune to know a retired Black Hawk pilot, and he said the flight physical is a long and extremely intricate process with a low percentage of people passing.

    I'm not out of a military family, and currently still in high school, so ANY advice on the process would be worth it's weight in gold for me. Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Aviation Requirements and Insight?

    Originally posted by kkillebrew View Post
    The recruiter I have spoken to has told me that the guard will pay for corrective eye surgery if my vision is up to a certain degree.
    Only for AGR Soldiers. Please ask your recruiter to check with his supervisor, and not make this mistake again.

    You're welcome to get corrective surgery on your own, although ask your doctor to read the vision standards for pilots first. Some eyes can't correct to pilot standards, even with the surgery.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Aviation Requirements and Insight?

      Thank you for the clarification. I will attempt to clear up that discrepancy.

      What does being an AGR Soldier require? (I found that it is the Active Guard Reserve, but haven't found much more helpful information.)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Aviation Requirements and Insight?

        AGR is a Guardsman on active duty status, working for his State. All the recruiters are AGR, as are your unit Readiness NCO, and numerous others. You would need to apply for a specific job opening, and it's unlikely that a brand new Soldier will get selected over more experienced personnel. Save your pennies, pay for the surgery yourself.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Aviation Requirements and Insight?

          To be eligible to apply for flight school or for an AGR job, you must have completed IET and be MOS qualified. So you would need to find an MOS that you could be okay with for the duration of your contract, attend BCT & AIT and then you can apply. Some states require you to be a member of that state's National Guard for a year, or other period of time, before you can apply. You should also talk to an Active Duty recruiter, since last I checked, they were still doing the Street to Seat program. If you could qualify for that, you would be on the fast track to being a rotary-wing aviator.

          Good Luck

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Aviation Requirements and Insight?

            Originally posted by A.Mac+ View Post
            To be eligible to apply for flight school or for an AGR job, you must have completed IET and be MOS qualified. So you would need to find an MOS that you could be okay with for the duration of your contract, attend BCT & AIT and then you can apply. Some states require you to be a member of that state's National Guard for a year, or other period of time, before you can apply. You should also talk to an Active Duty recruiter, since last I checked, they were still doing the Street to Seat program. If you could qualify for that, you would be on the fast track to being a rotary-wing aviator.

            Good Luck
            So I went to talk to a Army Reserve recruiter today, and have an appointment tomorrow to talk to the National Guard recruiter. They told me about the AGR for the reserves, and from what I got out of that, the Reserves is set up so you can switch between active and nonactive when it suits you (within reason, of course) whereas the Guard has it set up in a contract at the very beginning of signing up when you will become active or nonactive. (I'm unsure of whether this is a biased "fact".)

            So what you are saying is that I will join, and then choose an MOS for the in-between time from enlistment to turning in my WOCS packet? So in order to get into flight school I am required to be in AGR and be practically full time?

            I apologize as well, because I am not familiar with IET or the Street to Seat program. Thank you so much for the information!

            As of right now, the alternate timelines that I am looking at are essentially as follows:

            (Enlist this year)
            June 2012 - Graduate high school
            June 2012 - Attend RSP and BCT
            September 2012 - Start college
            Summer 2013 - Go to AIT
            September 2013 - June 2016 Finish Junior/Senior year of college
            Senior Year (2016) - Turn in WOCS packet
            After Senior Year (2016) - Go to WOCS flight school

            * So, at the end of this scenario I will have 4 years of basic enlistment and a bachelor's degree.

            OR

            June 2012 - Graduate high school
            September 2012 - Start college
            (Enlist between beginning of college and summer)
            June 2014 (before Junior year) - Attend RSP and BCT
            September 2014 - Junior year
            June 2015 (before Senior year) - Attend AIT
            September 2015 - Senior year
            Senior Year - Turn in WOCS packet
            After Senior year - Go to WOCS flight school

            * At the end of this scenario I will have 2 years of basic enlistment and a bachelor's degree.


            The problem with both of these scenarios is that I do not know how long AIT would be. I know that you do not have to be from an aviation MOS to attend WOCS flight school and fly, so I have to decide what is more advantageous, especially if the AIT for an aviation MOS is more than 3 months long. It would mean that I may have to postpone college classes in order to attend AIT. Also, I am unfamiliar with how long RSP is, and whether that is full time like BCT, or could be done during the time I am enrolled in school full time. I will have to do some additional research for these.

            Thank you all again for the advice, it's truly priceless information for me.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Aviation Requirements and Insight?

              In the National Guard, AGR positions are jobs that are necessary to be full time as mentioned by LTC Ritchie (ie. recruiters, supply NCOs, etc.) AGR slots are jobs that you can apply to but they cannot be written into a contract and are usually very competitive. You don't have to be AGR to apply to flight school.

              IET is simply BCT + AIT. Lots of info here about RSP, but drilling with an RSP unit begins right after enlistment and carries through until you have completed AIT and are handed off to your actual unit. RSP Drill is one weekend each month that you are not attending BCT or AIT.

              Since Flight School is not guaranteed, you will enlist with a chosen MOS that you will serve in until something changes, which could be for the duration of your contract.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Aviation Requirements and Insight?

                Ok, this could show up twice because I think it's also out there awaiting moderation, but here's a couple things:

                AGR is not required for flight school. AGR is required to have the NG pay for laser vision correction. AGR jobs are full time positions that you can apply for once you are enlisted and finish IET (Initial Entry Training composed of BCT & AIT) or once you commission (09S options for others who read this thread) but they cannot be written into a contract.

                To get to flight school, you will need to meet the requirements (physical, AFAST, etc.) and will need to enlist in the National Guard in a state that has aviation and will need to complete BCT & AIT. You will have to choose an MOS to enlist into. Since flight school is very competitive, you may end up serving in that MOS for the duration of your contract.

                RSP is a weekend drill that you are required to attend once a month from the time you enlist until you complete AIT and are handed off to your actual unit. If you enlist with a split option contract, you will drill with the RSP unit during that school year between BCT & AIT.

                The "Street to Seat" program is a very competitive option through the Active Duty Army to enlist directly into a guaranteed flight school pipeline. One thing to consider, unless you know that you would like to get into a career that requires you to have a Bachelor's degree, consider whether the time and money spent on getting just any degree is actually as worth it as all the guidance counselors seem to think and whether you really have to go straight to college right after high school. There is no age limit on College and the military has great education benefits.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Aviation Requirements and Insight?

                  Originally posted by kkillebrew View Post
                  So I went to talk to a Army Reserve recruiter today, and have an appointment tomorrow to talk to the National Guard recruiter. They told me about the AGR for the reserves, and from what I got out of that, the Reserves is set up so you can switch between active and nonactive when it suits you (within reason, of course) whereas the Guard has it set up in a contract at the very beginning of signing up when you will become active or nonactive. (I'm unsure of whether this is a biased "fact".)

                  So what you are saying is that I will join, and then choose an MOS for the in-between time from enlistment to turning in my WOCS packet? So in order to get into flight school I am required to be in AGR and be practically full time?

                  I apologize as well, because I am not familiar with IET or the Street to Seat program. Thank you so much for the information!

                  As of right now, the alternate timelines that I am looking at are essentially as follows:

                  (Enlist this year)
                  June 2012 - Graduate high school
                  June 2012 - Attend RSP and BCT
                  September 2012 - Start college
                  Summer 2013 - Go to AIT
                  September 2013 - June 2016 Finish Junior/Senior year of college
                  Senior Year (2016) - Turn in WOCS packet
                  After Senior Year (2016) - Go to WOCS flight school

                  * So, at the end of this scenario I will have 4 years of basic enlistment and a bachelor's degree.

                  OR

                  June 2012 - Graduate high school
                  September 2012 - Start college
                  (Enlist between beginning of college and summer)
                  June 2014 (before Junior year) - Attend RSP and BCT
                  September 2014 - Junior year
                  June 2015 (before Senior year) - Attend AIT
                  September 2015 - Senior year
                  Senior Year - Turn in WOCS packet
                  After Senior year - Go to WOCS flight school

                  * At the end of this scenario I will have 2 years of basic enlistment and a bachelor's degree.


                  The problem with both of these scenarios is that I do not know how long AIT would be. I know that you do not have to be from an aviation MOS to attend WOCS flight school and fly, so I have to decide what is more advantageous, especially if the AIT for an aviation MOS is more than 3 months long. It would mean that I may have to postpone college classes in order to attend AIT. Also, I am unfamiliar with how long RSP is, and whether that is full time like BCT, or could be done during the time I am enrolled in school full time. I will have to do some additional research for these.

                  Thank you all again for the advice, it's truly priceless information for me.
                  Whoa....you have way too much going on at one time. You need to take it one step at a time, or as we say in rhe army "aim for the fifty meter target".

                  If youre intention are to do this in a reserve component (Guard or Reserves) with what your plans are honestly the SMP program looks like the best option for you. It doesn't rule out Warrant Officer Flight Training, but also gives you the ability to possibly commision aviation as a regular officer.

                  Honetly, you need to print this out and go talk to a recruiter. Ask about the SMP program and ROTC.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Aviation Requirements and Insight?

                    Just talked to the recruiters today. Thank you again for the info, it definitely made the process much clearer. I've decided that I will be enlisting in the near future (possibly in the next few months). Split training (SMP), so going to BCT one summer and then Aviation (15t) AIT the next with RSP keeping me up to date in between, and after college graduation hopefully with 4 years of service under my belt working on helicopters I can qualify to go to OCS and then head to flight school. If not, try for WOCS, and if all else fails, I'll utilize those lovely school benefits to pay for my civilian pilot license.

                    Now that, is a win-win all around!

                    Comment

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