Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
Aviation Routes: OCS vs. WOCS Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Aviation Routes: OCS vs. WOCS

    *Hopefully this thread will be helpful to others pursuing the Helicopter Pilot career field in the National Guard. Mainly, I just need some clarification on who does what, as I have received a large quantity of information on these programs, and ultimately just need help sorting it all out. Optimally, I'm hoping someone with at least an Aviation MOS can help get the record straight.

    I am currently looking to enlist as a high school senior, go to BCT this summer and work my way into an Aviation AIT to get some hands-on experience and eventually get into a flight program, one way or another.

    Now, the question is what direction to take? From what I understand, there are three main paths you can take to becoming a helicopter pilot through the National Guard.

    A. Officer Candidate School ---> Flight School
    B. Warrant Officer Candidate School ---> Warrant Officer Flight School
    C. NG pays for civilian flight school

    I believe that I understand the basic difference between being an Officer and a Warrant Officer. Please correct me if I am mistaken.

    Officers do more generalized work, are in charge of more people, and have more of a leadership role. The training they go through is more physically difficult, they are paid more, and they get to fly more. However, they aren't necessarily pinpointed on a certain skill. They have a sort of a "wide and shallow" knowledge base.

    Warrant Officers are much more specific. They specialize in one kind of skill, and have a "narrow and deep" knowledge base corresponding to certain aspects of aviation instead of a wide range. They have less of a leadership role, although they may be in charge of teaching students in their specialization. They have less pay, and do not fly as much as Officers. Usually they are co-pilots and assist the Officer in flying. Their training is less difficult to achieve (in relation to OCS) both physically and simply applying to be in it.


    I am female, so theoretically speaking, I may have a greater chance of achieving either of these than any male applicant. But the big question is, if I want to fly and am qualified to do so, which is going to be more realistic? What kind of pros and cons are to these two programs? If I can not go into one, can I use the other as a fallback to up my chances of being able to fly?

    Thank you very much for the information!

  • #2
    Re: Aviation Routes: OCS vs. WOCS

    Originally posted by kkillebrew View Post

    I believe that I understand the basic difference between being an Officer and a Warrant Officer. Please correct me if I am mistaken.

    Officers do more generalized work, are in charge of more people, and have more of a leadership role. The training they go through is more physically difficult, they are paid more, and they get to fly more. However, they aren't necessarily pinpointed on a certain skill. They have a sort of a "wide and shallow" knowledge base.

    Warrant Officers are much more specific. They specialize in one kind of skill, and have a "narrow and deep" knowledge base corresponding to certain aspects of aviation instead of a wide range. They have less of a leadership role, although they may be in charge of teaching students in their specialization. They have less pay, and do not fly as much as Officers. Usually they are co-pilots and assist the Officer in flying. Their training is less difficult to achieve (in relation to OCS) both physically and simply applying to be in it.

    This is way off.....

    Officers are generalists and eventually take a comman route. They fly ALOT less then Warrant Officers. They are held to the same Physical Standard as everyone else. Warrant Officers are frequently the Pilot in Command over other regular officers because of their skill set. Warrants are also the ones who become Instructor Pilots.

    Basically is you want to Fly but take a Command, become a LT. If you want to fly, fly fly become a WO.

    The path to WO can be alot faster, because you do not need a Bachelors degree...as far as pay goes, generally speaking regular officers make more, but it depends on how/who you are comparing them too. A W-3 makes alot more then a LT for example, but a Captain makes alot more then a W-1...(there are five W pay grades.)

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Aviation Routes: OCS vs. WOCS

      There are two ways to become an aviator in the Army National Guard:

      Commissioned Officer:
      To become a Commissioned Officer Pilot you must first complete BOLC I (OCS or ROTC). The second step in the process is to complete the Applicant Drill Evaluation Process (ADEP). After successful completion of the ADEP, the applicant will work with the State Aviation Recruiter to complete their Flight Packet. Upon completion of the Flight Packet the applicant may receive a letter of recommendation and then would complete a competitive State Aviation Officer Board for Selection. (Note: Applicant may have to delay Commissioning to complete selection process)

      Warrant Officer:
      Since one of the requirements to apply for an Aviation Warrant Officer position is to be a current National Guard member, you will need to enlist first. Some states have minimum of 12 months time in service requirement. Once enlisted you would test for the AFAST then interview with the state aviation board. It is possible to interview and take the AFAST prior to accessing into the National Guard but that happens on a case by case basis. If you are selected and pass the AFAST you then get scheduled for a flight physical. These events are done in conjunction with putting together your Warrant Officer predetermination packet. Once the physical is complete you would send your packet up before the Federal Recognition Board and await approval. After you are approved you will then be scheduled to attend WOCS followed by flight training.

      GENERAL ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
      Have a General Technical (GT) Score of 110 or higher
      Have an AFAST Score of 90 or higher
      Be between the ages of 18 and 32
      Capable of passing the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT)
      Meet height and weight standards
      Capable of passing a Class I Flight Physical
      Obtain a Commander Recommendation
      Be a U.S. Citizen

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Aviation Routes: OCS vs. WOCS

        If you want to fly and remain doing so; then pursue the WO route. Both CO and WO are commissioned and you will have the same authority and both assume leadership roles. The quickest way is from high school to flight school if you qualify. I have a buddy that is a CW4 with 26 years of service and he makes more than junior Captains or a directly appointed Major; plus the flight pay (plus he has a wife that is a Major . But he says its never about the money; it is his passion for flying even though he flies less since he is in charge of other flight warrants.

        During my Afghan deployment, I met a full-bird Colonel that regressed to CW5 because he wanted the stick time. He will retire as a COL.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Aviation Routes: OCS vs. WOCS

          Excellent! Thanks so much for the info, I think my recruiter must have been mistaken (he is an SPC, so maybe does not have the Officer/Warrant Officer information completely straight yet). I will be enlisting this year and hopefully by the time I graduate College will be in the WOCS program to start flight school.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Aviation Routes: OCS vs. WOCS

            Originally posted by fmcityslicker View Post
            Both CO and WO are commissioned and you will have the same authority and both assume leadership roles.

            During my Afghan deployment, I met a full-bird Colonel that regressed to CW5 because he wanted the stick time. He will retire as a COL.
            WO isn't commissioned...Only CW2 - CW4.

            Also, I am having a tremendously hard time believing the Army let someone regress to CW5, unless they were a prior warrant officer with time in grade. Just because you are a COL doesn't mean you can automatically become an E-7, E-9, W5 whatever.....yes officers regress but it is in realistic terms..CPT/MAJ to CW2.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Aviation Routes: OCS vs. WOCS

              Originally posted by ParalegalNCO1 View Post
              WO isn't commissioned...Only CW2 - CW4.

              Also, I am having a tremendously hard time believing the Army let someone regress to CW5, unless they were a prior warrant officer with time in grade. Just because you are a COL doesn't mean you can automatically become an E-7, E-9, W5 whatever.....yes officers regress but it is in realistic terms..CPT/MAJ to CW2.
              How much you want to wager your response?

              I sat down and talked with the CW5 that was a COL at the DFAC and he educated me on the process (obviously what he did was voluntary). And recently met a couple of WO1s who now receive the Commisioning Oath out of WOCS.
              Last edited by Chief Kemosabe; December 23rd, 2011, 03:06 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Aviation Routes: OCS vs. WOCS

                Originally posted by fmcityslicker View Post
                How much you want to wager your response?

                I sat down and talked with the CW5 that was a COL at the DFAC and he educated me on the process. And recently met a couple of WO1s who now receive the Commisioning Oath out of WOCS.
                Actually, I stand corrected on the commissioning part. I heard that was changing, didn't realize it had been implemented.

                Still not buying the O-6 to W-5 story though.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Aviation Routes: OCS vs. WOCS

                  Originally posted by ParalegalNCO1 View Post
                  Actually, I stand corrected on the commissioning part. I heard that was changing, didn't realize it had been implemented.

                  Still not buying the O-6 to W-5 story though.
                  Well, I can email my CW4 buddy for that information if you like. Matter of fact; I will right now.
                  Last edited by Mr_Loki; December 27th, 2011, 03:16 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Aviation Routes: OCS vs. WOCS

                    I just emailed him Paralegal. I do not know if he is back at Hunter Airfield or Rucker.

                    But in my over two decades of service; I have witnessed things and heard stories that many would not believe but I would not post drivel if I did not hear it myself and would not think that senior ranking officers would make things up. An E-7 that I knew was a former Captain that was passed over so he accepted the reduction so he can retire. I know you heard cases as those.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Aviation Routes: OCS vs. WOCS

                      Also, I attached a photo of a NG WO1 taking command since you require proof

                      Click image for larger version

Name:	4e15d333412d156b7a9175db617f3b80.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	80.5 KB
ID:	312

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Aviation Routes: OCS vs. WOCS

                        Originally posted by fmcityslicker View Post
                        I just emailed him Paralegal. I do not know if he is back at Hunter Airfield or Rucker.

                        But in my over two decades of service; I have witnessed things and heard stories that many would not believe but I would not post drivel if I did not hear it myself and would not think that senior ranking officers would make things up. An E-7 that I knew was a former Captain that was passed over so he accepted the reduction so he can retire. I know you heard cases as those.
                        The only way a Captain becomes an E-7 is if he was an E-7 before he became an officer. Even at that, he would have to resign. When you jump from E to O or E to W or vice versa and stay in the service you are actually discharged and start a new contract. Officers with no prior service can usually become an E-5 upon resignation. To take a higer grade, they must have previously held that grade.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Aviation Routes: OCS vs. WOCS

                          Originally posted by ParalegalNCO1 View Post
                          The only way a Captain becomes an E-7 is if he was an E-7 before he became an officer. Even at that, he would have to resign. When you jump from E to O or E to W or vice versa and stay in the service you are actually discharged and start a new contract. Officers with no prior service can usually become an E-5 upon resignation. To take a higer grade, they must have previously held that grade.
                          Yes, the Captain I mentioned was a prior E-7.

                          Once I get the full story on how the COL did it; I will post that response.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Aviation Routes: OCS vs. WOCS

                            Originally posted by Mongoose772
                            SSG,

                            To comment on both your incredulities. Specialists are hired into entry level production recuriter positions. This has been reasonably common for about 5 years if memory serves. Also, aviation branched officers (and/or MSC officers who are areomedical evacuation pilots) occassionally are reappointed as a warrant later in their carrers; most often because they have been passed over the maximum times for promotion, but it can be for something as superfluous "stick time". A little over a decade ago we had a BG become a CW2 for his last 2 years. (I have no anecdotal evidence to rationalise an appointment as a CW5 however. That does seem atypical)
                            Yes I know. Every commisioned officer I have ever known who became a W went to CW-2.
                            Last edited by Mr_Loki; December 27th, 2011, 03:15 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Aviation Routes: OCS vs. WOCS

                              Originally posted by fmcityslicker View Post
                              Also, I attached a photo of a NG WO1 taking command since you require proof

                              Click image for larger version

Name:	4e15d333412d156b7a9175db617f3b80.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	80.5 KB
ID:	312
                              LOL, that was a CPT's slot before (I knew one of the previous commanders).

                              I too would have to question a COL going to CW5 slot. Mainly becuase there are so few CW5 slots and I doubt the mafia would allow one of those slots to remain open.

                              Back to OP's question, you're going to have to join the unit. Be a hard worker, keep up on your APFT ect. Then ask about OCS/WOCS. Keep in mind AV isn't one weekend a month/two weeks a year. It's more of a part time job that can consume quite a bit of time.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X