Posted on Oct 12, 2018
PFC Signal Support Systems Specialist
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I'm currently an ROTC cadet in an SMP slot looking to branch aviation with the National Guard. I don't understand much of what the process still is, as I haven't received a clear answer on what exactly needs to happen for me to branch aviation. Everything I've learned about branching aviation has been through mostly my own research and a few things I've been told. I know I need to take the SIFT, which I have a year to prepare for, and have a flight physical. I've asked my peers in my MSIII class who of over half are ADO and prior service, but no one has a clear answer that can really put me at ease with the questions I feel are unanswered, or maybe the questions that I'm not asking.

I feel that I'm missing some steps in this process. I do well in what I can to gain points for the order of merit list, but I know I'm ranked more in the middle to lower end of my class. What things can I do outside of ROTC to better my chances at branching aviation for national guard?
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MAJ Program Manager
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If you meet all the requirements for aviation and a BN commander accepts you to an aviation slot in the Guard. Congratulations you're going to be a pilot.

I dont know much about the other steps but I know on the regular Army side you can meet all the qualifications and still end up with something else
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PFC Signal Support Systems Specialist
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Thank you for the response sir, I believe I've actually been told that before a long time ago, but didn't quite know it to be true myself. When talking to my peers about it, they seemed to question that notion or told me that's not how it works for ROTC. I appreciate the guidance sir!
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2LT Construction Section Leader
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You need to get in contact with your state officer strength manager. Your recruiter should be able to get you the contact info. They will probably tell you to wait until after the SIFT but they should get started on making your packet for the aviation board. Make sure to stay on them about everything you need to do. Generally they might try to put you in an SMP slot in an aviation unit if you aren’t already in one. If they do, try to get to know the battalion leadership because if they know your name, then they’re more likely to choose you when it comes time for the aviation board.
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PFC Signal Support Systems Specialist
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Thank you sir, that's something I didn't know, and my recruiter hasn't been much help on the subject, but I'll get them on it. Thanks again sir!
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COL Jon Thompson
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Each state does something different. The Iowa National Guard has more applicants than slots. So they hold an annual board to select who gets aviation. A big part of that is there performance as a cadet. You need to contact your state NG's Officer Strength Manager as he or she can tell you how they select aviators from ROTC cadets. I would also check on getting assigned to an aviation unit as an SMP cadet. That will let them know who you are and could help your chances as long as you are a good Soldier/Cadet.
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