Posted on May 2, 2018
Sgt Austin Janutol
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Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen,

I served 8 years 7 months in the United States Marine Corps, prior to attending the university i am currently attending full time at. After talking with recruiters, looking at chat forums, watching YouTube videos, and reading the prereq's, i still feel like i am in the "gray" area when it comes to being able to be selected as a pilot. I will skip the whole "I really desired to be a pilot speech" for if i didn't dream of being a pilot why would i be searching for answers in this forum then. My concerns are the following:

1. Though i have years of enlisted service in the USMC as an Infantry Squad Leader, I just turned 29 years old with 2-3 years left of education until i am able to receive my bachelors degree in Criminal Justice. Will being 29 years old (currently) hinder my chances to be a helo pilot?

2. I am currently going through a divorce, and have 1 child-- which i hope to be able to have joint legal and physical custody. Will me being a "single parent" affect my ability to become a pilot? When i was looking at the Army's WO program, they said it was impossible for me to be active duty helo pilot because of this. It caught me off guard, but i began to worry that the Airforce would go the same direction. In fact, the recruiter stated that i would have to pretty much give up my custody in order to fly and be a helo pilot active duty. This isn't even up for questioning, i wouldn't choose the military over my son.

3. I am currently getting together Letters of Recommendation from my old commands, mostly from commissioned officers.

4. What can I do now, besides doing as best I can in school, to prepare for this? I know I want to retake the ASVAB, take the SIFT, and will maintain being physically fit, but I am looking for a mentor that could potentially help me head in the right direction.

Thank you for taking the time to read my message, I understand if you aren't willing or able to respond.

Respectfully,

Austin
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Responses: 6
CW3 Kevin Storm
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Keep in mind both the Guard and Reserves have Flight Warrants. Find a unit near you and talk to them. This would give you the chance to finish school and go flight.
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SFC Recruiter
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I can tell you why you are getting conflicting stories. There are 2 main routes to become a pilot in the Army. One is for active duty service members and the other is for those who are not. If your not on active duty then you need to find an Army recruiter and in your case I would do it quick. If you can get boarded and selected while your still legally married then your good you can handle the rest of it on the back end. If you are a single parent and have to meet non active duty standards you will be disqualified. A recruiter cannot tell you to give up custody of your child or even hint at it. Also if it is found that you relinquished your custody for the sole pourpose of meeting qualifications you can be disqualified.
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SFC Recruiter
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Shoot me a private message if you have more questions. I can answer from the perspective of a recruiter who has put warrant officers in and also an active duty soldier who is applying to the program.
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WO1 Intelligence Analyst
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All good responses however the main barrier might be the age at this point. I was recently trying to help a prior service (PS) Marine in the IRR make a move to aviation repair. A fellow senior enlisted soldier currently in recruiting stated that for PS personnel trying to come back or transfer over, the cutoff age of 35 is altered for PS to equal to the cutoff age minus your years of AD. In your case, that would be 27. Warrant Officer requirements can differ and most everything is able to be waived, but I would contact your Warrant Officer recruiter to verify if this would apply to you. You should be good considering you haven't hit your early 30's yet. Best of luck and feel free to reach out to me directly if you would like more information.
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CW2 Legal Administrator
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I think the max age now is like 33? And they accept waivers so I think age won’t be an issue...
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