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Do I take the pilot offer??

fightergator said:
Waiting periods vary.  It appears that the requirement to do SLT prior to pilot training can now be waived depending upon the numbers of trainees available to fill pilot serials.  All of the reports I read in others’ comments were credible.  If a candidate is unlucky, it could take close to three years from beginning Basic Training to earning wings and up to almost two more years prior to completing an OUT.  However, a very lucky individual could end up in the same place in a little over a year and a half. 

Not to come off as a personal attack, but ask around on the training side before making a comment on timelines.  I've been in 2.5 years, and have PFT done thats it.  MJ is upcoming soon.  All things go well I end up on AFT maybe late 09, probably early 2010.  By the time that course is done I'm looking at 4.5 years from BOTP to Wings.  And my timeline is VERY typical.  The year and a half just doesn't happen. 

I'm not trying to discourage anyone, I love what I do.  And encourage anyone who is given the chance to at least try and see what happens.

The pilot job is like many others in some ways.  Being a firefighter is awesome and rewarding work.  My brother in law did that for nearly 40 years.  He loved the job until he hung up his boots for the last time back in May. It's honourable work, and you have the world by the tail.

However, you say you are missing something.  Decide what that is and then ask yourself if what you are missing is the follwing:

- A job that is so engrossing you will gladly study an exceptional amount of time (and during your time off) just to be better at it
- A chance to see views from your cockpit that 99% of the Canadian populace will never get to see
- A chance to see some amazing locales all over the world - sometimes more than once in one day.
- A chance to test yourself in an arena where your decisions actually mean the difference between mission success and mission failure - every time you fly (even as a student).  Sometimes lives depend on your decisions - not every day, but even once is enough to give one pause
- A chance to serve with people who will be your friends for life
- A chance to get paid exceedingly well, and to be provided with an opportunity to advance as high as you wish.  This not only means promotion.  Most pilots are very competitive and will work like dogs to be recognized by their peers as being the best of their profession (Fighter Weapons Instructor, Instrument Check Pilot, A2 or A1 Instructor Pilot, Standards Officer, etc).  This is why we have so man God-damn patches

I have flown the Aurora and the AWACs/B707 in Europe.  The former was my first airplane and not my first choice (I wanted C-130s - I was on the Air Canada training plan).  Even so, it turned out to be the best job I have ever had and twenty years later I am still in.  Flying on a mission far away from the boss, with just me and my crew to solve the problem, has always appealed to me. It gave me a chance to lead early in my career, and during a period when I had very little experience. Leading a crew is not making decisions by committee (as fightergator insultingly insinuates).  It's hard to lead a crew when the mission is tough, and when they are tired or frustrated.  Much harder than fightergtor gives others credit for.

Anyhow, my career choice has landed me with a rewarding and interesting job.  At the end of the day it's your choice.  My experience has been exceedingly good.  I have flown a lot of hours, taught others how to be good pilots, been rewarded with lots of professional opportunities, served over five years in Europe, fed my family, and kept them with me because I was happy and not pissed off with my life.  Knowing what I do about myself - this may not be the case if was still a working stiff on civvie street. 

There are no guarantees - but if you attain your goal you will never regret it. As a last note - if you choose to not take the offer, don't ever say "if only I had joined the Air Force...".  Make a decision - then no regrets.

Best of luck and let us know what you decide to do.


PS I don't mean to denigrate Fightergator's post.  By and large he had some good info in his post.  The benefits info he posted was spot on and he is correct that all Tactical Aviation is moving towards some really operational work over the next few years.
Loachman said:
First piece of advice: Check the profiles of some of the posters in this thread and weigh their advice accordingly.


You are getting some pretty good advice.  The above should also be primary on your mind when reading that advice.  Some of the advice is coming from people with nothing in their profile, some of whom may not even had any dealings with the CF. 
How long does GungHo have to decide? The original post was made on July 30th. Either way, it's a good thread for all of those who might be faced with a similar decision in the future.