Posted on Jun 13, 2019
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For those of you that seem to comment on my questions regularly: I have sworn into the Utah Army National Guard!

Now for everyone: My plan as of now is this. Participate in RSP through the end of this year. Report to Leonard Wood 07 January for BCT, then complete 88M AIT. Return home, drill a couple times, then contract with my university’s ROTC (I’ll be a junior next fall, so timing is perfect there).

It’s been a point of contention on another question I posed, so I’ll address it straightaway so we’re all on the same page. I scored well enough to qualify for any Army MOS, but chose 88M because it gets me back home the fastest, and because that MOS election disappears as soon as I contract. Therefore, I was told that it didn’t matter to my long term career.

As I’m beginning to really try and figure out my branch goals when I commission (yes, I am aware that I can only offer my hopes and dreams to the mercy of the Army, and that those hopes and dreams will most likely be crushed), I have started to seriously look at Aviation. Specifically to fly. No matter what I do, I want to complete my degree.

The question to the community here is this: Am I better off contracting ROTC and (theoretically, assuming it’s offered to me) accept an active duty commission and try to branch Aviation, or should I complete school and then put in for WOCS to fly? I love aircraft in general, but have only been in a helicopter once (I absolutely loved it). Therefore, I can’t with certainty say that my goal is to *only* fly through a 20+ year career.

So with where I’m sitting now, (sworn into the Utah NG, but not MOSQ) what would you suggest I look at, moving forward?

Thank you for taking the time to read and reply to this!
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LTC Jason Mackay
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Edited 4 mo ago
PFC (Join to see) If your goal was to fly and this was a deal breaker if you didn't at all, WOCS would be the route.

If youre ok with the CHANCE to branch aviation and maybe fly, ROTC would be the route.

Securing either a RA or AD Commission following a degree program and a short stint in the UT ARNG may not be a lock. It may be possible though to earn an RC Commission or a RC Warrant Appointment in Aviation and then transfer to AD, but that is contingent on open needs at the time you attempt it.

Warrant Officers may apply for OCS, so if you did become a warrant officer, the door doesn't close.....fully. You have to watch the age limits and medical requirements....because life happens while you are making plans. I know two people personally who went from being NCOs to Warrants (both technical fields) to commissioned officers via OCS. One was TMDE/Electronics Maintenance and became an OD officer and later a PhD and an executive at Raytheon. The other a 88K Watercraft Operator to 880A Marine Deck Officer to Transportation/LG Officer. He just entered the corporate world and is in Supply Chain and Logistics. This is definitely circuitous. It also increases the likelihood of retiring as a Graybeard Captain or possibly Major simply from a Time spent "getting somewhere" perspective and hitting 20years AFCS.

The other option which may still be viable, is to earn an Aviation Branch Commission and revert to CW2 as a Captain if flying is your bag. They used to do this often enough that it was a thing with a regulatory path. I would not recommend this route with vigor.
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SGT Aircraft Mechanic
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Being a Guard aviator requires A LOT more commitment than just one weekend a month and two weeks a year. Bear that in mind.

I’m in the uh-60 battalion in UT. I haven’t been here long but so far it seems like a decent place and you wouldn’t be begging for blade time.

They also have an Apache Battalion here and Lakota and Fixed wing detachments.
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4 mo
Sergeant, thanks for your reply. No matter what we do, the goal is AD. My family heritage here in Utah goes back to the first white settlers, and I subscribe to the common local religion, but it’s just not our scene.

Would it be possible for us to link up sometime so I could receive further guidance? I don’t know anyone in AV here in Utah.
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Capt Daniel Goodman
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As I read what you'd sent, as with most others on here who ask similar quesrions, to answer you properly, at least to my way of thinking, it's help to know more...major(s), grades, GPAs, assoc before the bachelors, STEM coursework, specific subjects taken, non-STOP subjects...interests, hobbies, reading tastes, sports incl martial arts esp...also, what are your ultimate objects? Have you done any GAS flight training this far other than going up once in a helicopter? I gather that might be the case, as you mentioned your preference for aircraft...would you possibly want flight test pilot, nav/WSO, or engineer? Also, you need to consider nav/WSO, whether fixed or rotary wing, not solely helicopters, I understand you interest in rotary wing, you made that evident, however, how much fixed wing exposure have you had? Sport pilot? Private pilot? Glider? Instrument rating? Multiengine rating? commercial rating? The next thing is, whether you go warrant, or commissioned, you're gonna need to immediately start a master's part time minimum, anyone who tells you it's not reqd for warrant or commissioned on active, regardless of svc, has, I assure you, zero clue, honest...you're also gonna need to do PME, both Army, as well as other svcs, whether resident, or nonresident, for broadening purposes...you're gonna get tapped for addl duties, whether you're warrant or commissioned, junior/company grade officers council (CGOC), you're gonna need to be taught to suoervise, so ratings on enlisted, as well as others you'll eventually supervise, so, knowing your more fundamental as well as long term objects would help immensely suggest things for you...for a masters, what field would you want? Would you want a PhD? do you have research interests at all? What interests do you have in military history? Economics? Foreign affairs? Doo you want engineering? Comp sci? Aero engineering? Those are the kinds of things I always suggest those at your level to explain in detail, so all of us can gauge your mind, as well as your range of interests...also, being as you'd said you're IT ARNG now, what MOS are you? Is it aviation related? Non-aviation? I was Army ROTC before USAF OTS, so I've got a pretty decent idea of the normal Army ROTC curriculum...I wasn't prior enlisted, Guard, or Reserve, however, all of that info is germane to being able to answer you properly, as well as suggest possible paths, assignments, grad schools...e.g., have you looked at applying to USAF A FIT or Naval Postgrad School (NPS), which warrants and commissioned in all.svc s can apply to, incl Army? Have you looked at military Rhodes Scholar at all if you've got an adequate GPA? Are you going to take the genl and subj GRE? The GMAT? I'm asking you those things to make you look beyond the immediate goal of flight after commissioning or WOCS, that's all I'm saying...we had a family friend who's gone Army enlisted, got Army WOCS for rotary wing, got his bach in aviation at Ember Riddle, then Army released him, USCG picked him up, he finished his 20 yrs as a USCG O-3, I merely relate the story, as I thought you might find it of interest...would you possibly want to do exchange tours for flight with other svcs, or in allied countries? Those are the kinds of things in suggesting you think about, to try to consider longer-range objectives, that's all I'm saying, OK? I hope all that was of at least some use and/or interest, I'd be most eager to hear more, no rush, whenever you might have time to send more, of course....
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Capt Daniel Goodman
Capt Daniel Goodman
4 mo
Sorry, typo, non-STEM, I can't believe the lousy spell check on this tablet at times, honest....
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