Posted on Jan 14, 2019
SGT Team Leader
15.7K
8
10
4
4
0
Hey everybody. I would absolutely love to submit a Warrant Officer packet and pursue aviation in the Army. I just got off 6 years of Active Duty and transferred to the National Guard in the state of Vermont. I'm a 68W, medic, and attached to an Engineer BN. I'm going to school full time here also for Aviation, but fixed wing aircraft. I'd rather be flying helicopters in the Army. Basically all I need for my packet is letters of recommendation from Warrant Officers for it to be complete. I spoke with a few at the neighboring Aviation BN, but they said they hardly wrote letters of recommendation for people outside of their unit. They wanted me to re-class to a new MOS and join their BN, work for them a few years and then after they wrote letters of recommendation for the other enlisted guys and gals that wanted to go Warrant, they would consider writing mine. Is this normal for the National Guard and reserve? Is there any way around this? Thanks for any and all info!
Avatar_feed
Responses: 3
CW3 Standardization Instructor Pilot/Instrument Flight Examiner/Maintenance Test Pilot
2
2
0
Edited >1 y ago
SGT (Join to see)
It seems very normal. Every Guard and Reserve unit work differently. When I went through WOCS and then Flight School I had many friends that were N.G. and Reserve. ALL of them had been in their respective units for many years and had been highly experienced within their aviation MOS. Guard and Reserve units will oftentimes refuse to write letters of recommendation for "outsiders" because you are an unknown to them. This is their way of insuring the units funds, among other things. Other than them not knowing you and risking millions of dollars on you, they have their own people that have been working their way through their system for years and have been with the unit through hard times. These units don't PCS their SM's so people will wait years for a position to become available, they still have the same authorizations that hold the regular Army accountable (hence the working with the unit for years). If you do move Battalions you will be there with them for potentially many years before seeing a letter of recommendation, remember this is not free for just asking, you also have to be deserving and competent. If you want to fly, there are many avenues you can pursue. Part 141 flight schools are all over the country (Flight schools that accept the GI Bill). Active Duty Recruiters would be able to help you if you could get a conditional release from your current unit, Regular Army is short pilots right now (very short depending on airframe). In short if you are unwilling to reclass and move Battalions or work with an Active Recruiter with a conditional release, there really aren't too many options other than flying with a civilian flight school. Good Luck
(2)
Comment
(0)
SGT Team Leader
SGT (Join to see)
>1 y
Thanks for your response, Chief. That's basically the feeling I was getting. Speaking of the part 141 school, that's what I'm currently enrolled in. It's for fixed wing aircraft, and I really wanted to fly helicopters in the Army, but if I graduate this school in a few years then maybe I'll talk to recruiters about flying fixed wing for the Army. It's not a terrible fallback plan. Thanks for your help.
(0)
Reply
(0)
Avatar_small
MSG Frank Kapaun
1
1
0
Two points, first and foremost, the National Guard is very much a political animal. In a National Guard aviation unit, why would they not want to grow their own so to speak? It is their school slot and training dollars going towards you. Second, why would they write you a letter or recommendation? Do they know you on a personal level? Remember it is that person’s name along with his reputation on the signature line. If you screw up, their integrity and reputation are at stake.
(1)
Comment
(0)
MSG Frank Kapaun
MSG Frank Kapaun
>1 y
SGT (Join to see) have you pissed someone off in that unit? I am being serious. Myself, I stopped trying to figure out the Guard a long time ago. A lot of their full time hires made absolutely no sense whatsoever. The Guard has a tendency to play fast and loose with the rules.
(0)
Reply
(0)
SGT Team Leader
SGT (Join to see)
>1 y
MSG Frank Kapaun - I literally just reported up here last month, so I don't think so! At least I hope not. When I was on terminal leave, I spoke with the commander and retention over there and they tried to pull me to the Avaition BN, but couldn't figure out the paperwork in the end so I just ended up at the Engineering BN with my original orders. Should I go back over there and just ask to volunteer my time with them even though I'm not actually attached to them?
(0)
Reply
(0)
MSG Frank Kapaun
MSG Frank Kapaun
>1 y
SGT (Join to see) Hell no don’t volunteer! Damn it man your time is worth something, do no sell yourself short. It sounds to like the unit is way over strength and has the luxury of picking and choosing whom they let in. The Guard good ole boy/girl system at work. If your heart is set on an aviation unit, explore other units and be prepared to drive a great distance for drills. Good luck
(0)
Reply
(0)
SGT Team Leader
SGT (Join to see)
>1 y
MSG Frank Kapaun - Thanks for the advice
(0)
Reply
(0)
Avatar_small
CSM Charles Hayden
0
0
0
SGT (Join to see) Sounds fair to me.

Do you speak highly of someone with whom you have had minimal contact?
(0)
Comment
(0)
SGT Team Leader
SGT (Join to see)
>1 y
Thanks for your response CSM. I suppose it just seems strange to me. I've had numerous friends submit Warrant Officer packets, but they never had to re-class and work for them for years before they would entertain the idea of a letter of recommendation. I understand it though.
(1)
Reply
(0)
Avatar_small

Join nearly 2 million former and current members of the US military, just like you.

close