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Captain Obvious

Advice needed......

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Ok guys here is the low down.

I've got a good friend that wants to be an Air Force fighter pilot more than anything else in the world.

His thing is he just doesn't know where to start. He is in his 20s still going to a community college getting his basics done.He knows that its next to impossible now but he is willing to try for it.

I was just wondering if any of you guys who are pilots have any suggestion?Any good ideas about where he should start?

Like I said he knows that its going to take a ton of work and time to do it he just needs pointing in the right direction.

Capt.O

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I'm not a pilot but has he checked out to see if the airforce has any info on the web? Maybe he could try talking to an airforce recruiter if there is one around. Those are 2 things that come to mind.

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he is going to have to get some kind of engineering or science degree, a recruiter can tell him. Then he has to go through officer training school and then flight school. he should look at being a navy pilot they're better!

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Ask him if he has ever considered piloting attack helicopters in the Army instead of jets in the Air Force, and tell him to check this out. It could get him flying much quicker.

http://www.goarmy.com/about/service-options/enlisted-soldiers-and-officers/warrant-officers.html

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Don't overlook the Coast Guard. 

The son of the fellow who lobstered with me for years went to the Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT. 

He wanted to fly jets, but was turned down by the Air Force Academy.

After graduation, he went to Florida flight school where he learned to fly a jet.  Then he learned to fly Coast Guard helicopters.

He's now the captain/commander of a Jayhawk rescue helicopter in Alaska.  He has appeared on at least two episodes of "Deadliest Catch".

He prefers flying the chopper to flying a jet.

You might consider looking into the Coast Guard Academy.  Chances of getting accepted there are better than the other three military academies, Annapolis, West Point, or the Air Force Academy in Colorado.

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Tell him to go talk to an Air Force recruiter to get him pointed in the right direction.  The Air Force is a good choice, he will get treated better than any other branch of service.

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Tell him to go talk to an Air Force recruiter to get him pointed in the right direction. The Air Force is a good choice, he will get treated better than any other branch of service.

You must have served as a pilot in all five branches of the armed forces, right? You're my hero. :P

Mark my words. If he goes to an Air Force recruiter right now, the recruiter is going to try to talk him into enlisting. He isn't qualified to be an officer without a Bachelors degree, and a recruiter isn't going to sit around and wait three or four years for him to finish. He'll try to sell him on enlisting and attending the Community College of the Air Force and using tuition assistance to finish up his degree. I'm not saying that it's a bad deal, but it's not going to get him in the cockpit of a jet anytime soon either.

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Do you guys know what kind of science degree would look the best when he goes to apply

Also do you have any info on the Air National Guard

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Tell him to go talk to an Air Force recruiter to get him pointed in the right direction. The Air Force is a good choice, he will get treated better than any other branch of service.

You must have served as a pilot in all five branches of the armed forces, right? You're my hero. :P

Mark my words. If he goes to an Air Force recruiter right now, the recruiter is going to try to talk him into enlisting. He isn't qualified to be an officer without a Bachelors degree, and a recruiter isn't going to sit around and wait three or four years for him to finish. He'll try to sell him on enlisting and attending the Community College of the Air Force and using tuition assistance to finish up his degree. I'm not saying that it's a bad deal, but it's not going to get him in the cockpit of a jet anytime soon either.

You seem to know a lot about me I would say you're my hero.

I was enlisted in the Air Force. I am speaking through experience that I have through my service and the fact that I work with vets from all branches of service both officers and enlisted, pilot's and mechanics. The Air Force generly treats all their troops better than any other branch especially the pilot's. As far as the recruiter he will try to get him to enlist thats his job. You just have to know what you want and not accept anything else and the recruiter will not have any choice but to wait he can't force anyone to enlist just because you walk in his office.

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Your friend has chosen a tough career field, but he has nothing to lose looking into it.  I've got a couple of life long friends that were both pilots in the USAF, and from talking with them, here are some of the things I've learned.

First, your friend needs to decide "what" he wants to fly, or if anything with wings would do.  Both of my friends saw themselves as future fighter jocks.  One ended up in B-52's, and the second spent his career flying cargo.  There's nothing so humble as a fighter jock waddling down the runway in a B-52 or a C-140.

Your buddy also needs to understand the odds at even making it into flight school.  Besides the education, there's the physical, eyesight, coordination tests just to start.  One bump along the path can put him/her right out of the pilot's chair and into the navigator's seat.

After all of this thinking, I would advise your friend goes to the nearest air base whether it's active, guard, or reserve.  Call first to see if you can setup an appointment to have a short meeting with someone in flight ops, or another pilot flying a desk on a certain day.  On guard bases, try to avoid training weekends as they are quite busy.  But most have staff on duty every day of the week as well.

Have your friend prepare a list of questions to ask, and be prepared to take notes if needed.  Also, if the local air base has a type of aircraft that he/she doesn't want to fly, it shouldn't matter.  All of these folks took basic flight school together before being divided up later. 

In short, I wouldn't go to see a recruiter first.  They're doing their job getting as many young people signed up for a career (any career), and most likely won't be able to answer more specific questions with first hand knowledge.

Whatever he/she decides, wish them luck from this old USAF & Air Nat'l Guard sergeant, who tried his level best to keep his feet firmly on the ground whenever possible!

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There is no question that that enlisted members of the air force have the highest quality of life. But navy pilots are treated like royalty. You don't get to chose what plane you want to fly, you get weeded out through school. only the best fly fighter jets. Being a warrant officer in the army and flying helos would probably be the easiest way.

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Thanks to everyone who has posted. My buddy knows about the thread and loves the great info you guys have given. He says thanks a million :)

He also was wondering  if he joined a Air Force ROTC program would help him get a foot in the door rather then just enlisting after college?

He also has his sights set on being a jet fighter pilot so he's not looking for a quick way to start flying.

thanks again

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I was enlisted in the Air Force. I am speaking through experience that I have through my service and the fact that I work with vets from all branches of service both officers and enlisted, pilot's and mechanics. The Air Force generly treats all their troops better than any other branch especially the pilot's.

Are you saying that because I'm in the Army, I must treat my Soldiers poorly? Do only nice, friendly people join the Air Force? Give me a break. Your experience is in the Air Force. Period. Once you have served in another branch, then you can compare how we treat our troops.

Being a warrant officer in the army and flying helos would probably be the easiest way.

That's why I made my suggestion. This guy is already in his twenties, and he's just now working on his basics in a community college. If he is serious about flying, this may be his best option.

Great post, Lund Explorer. If he's dead set on being an Air Force pilot, that's exactly what he should do.

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embry-riddle university is a great aeronautical university. i don't know how his grades are, but this is where i would go.

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I was enlisted in the Air Force. I am speaking through experience that I have through my service and the fact that I work with vets from all branches of service both officers and enlisted, pilot's and mechanics. The Air Force generly treats all their troops better than any other branch especially the pilot's.

Are you saying that because I'm in the Army, I must treat my Soldiers poorly? Do only nice, friendly people join the Air Force? Give me a break. Your experience is in the Air Force. Period. Once you have served in another branch, then you can compare how we treat our troops.

Being a warrant officer in the army and flying helos would probably be the easiest way.

That's why I made my suggestion. This guy is already in his twenties, and he's just now working on his basics in a community college. If he is serious about flying, this may be his best option.

Great post, Lund Explorer. If he's dead set on being an Air Force pilot, that's exactly what he should do.

I did not make any statements about you or any other member of any branch of service except to make a smart a$$ statement like you did first.  I am simpling stating that generly the Air Force treats its troops better.  There are good and bad in every branch.  I work with vets and guard members and we sit arround and talk when we have nothing to do.  They are the ones who make the statements about how the Air Force treats there servicemembers better than they were treated.  Most of these coworkers are helicopter pilots who were WO's in the Army.

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Sorry I think I need to clear somethings up.

My friend is 21 and when I said working on his basics I meant working on a associates degree. He would be considered a junior if he transfered to any 4 year college.

He and I start our freshman year together at the same community college. I just transfered  before he did.

Sorry I didn't mean to make it sound like he was behind because he's not.

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