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Last post 12-03-2004, 3:55 PM by KenV. 2 replies.
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  •  08-06-2004, 2:49 AM 2537

    AF or NAVY?

     I am a 19 yr old community college student in Jacksonville, FL and I want to fly! My questions are: What are my REAL chances of becomming a fighter pilot in the military and which service will I be most happy in?
     What I've been told so far by my bestfriend who is a sophomore in the USNA (girlfriend in USAFA lol) Is that the Air Force has a nicer lifestyle and less stress as comparred to the NAVY life. I was told that the AF flyers were more "by the book" and the NAVY/Marines guys had more freedom in terms of flying. I've heard that the NAVY is harder to become a VF guy because everyone wants to be "Maverick" and there is more competition.
     Nevertheless, here is my standing situation: I am 19 years old, in community college (freshman-poly sci.), play college baseball (being scouted by Braves), want to fly fighters and to end up in politics . Obviously, I would have to give up a potential pro baseball carrer.
     What is the age they want their pilots to start indoc? How are the NAVY/Marines and AF lifestyles comparred (on/off base, freedom, stress, standard of living, etc.). When you get off the boat do you have that time for you friends and family or do you still have to work at the base/port? Would it be better for me to quit baseball, do ROTC, and get my AS degree in aviation or AA in poly science?
     Someone also told me if I have my FAA pilot licence before I join then I would hold more value than the next guy. I'm going to need all the edge that I can because of the competition. I hate failing especially if 10+ yrs of my life and a pro baseball carrer are at stake and I don't want to be stuck either flying around in a plane that handles like a semi! I want my Porsche damn it!
     Please help me!
  •  11-13-2004, 1:57 PM 2668 in reply to 2537

    • Lt. is not online. Last active: 03-14-2005, 6:34 PM Lt.
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on 11-13-2004
    • United States of America
    • Posts 11

    Re: AF or NAVY?


      I'm new to this site. And want to fly for the U.S military but not sure if I want go with Air Force or Navy. My friends in the navy, he operates a missile system on a ship.And though I've talked to him many times about which one I should enter but still haven't made a choice.It is very confusing sometimes but I joined the Civil Air Patrol(Air Force Auxillary).When I reach cadet officer it will give me a head start for when I join AFROTC, And will put me in advanced standing. So that will give me an edge. I hope this helps

  •  12-03-2004, 3:55 PM 2721 in reply to 2537

    Re: AF or NAVY?

    A Naval Aviator lifestyle can be pretty good.  On the boat, expect 14 to 18 hour days.  Shipboard life is austere as well as requiring LOOOONG hours.  And obviously your totally away from your family.  Shiboard deployments last around 6 months.  Expect two to three deployments per tour of duty.

    Ashore in a fighter squadron, expect more regular hours.  Normally, 8 to 9 hour days are normal.  When you're in carrier work ups (getting ready to deploy on a carrier) and getting all your quals, the workload and time away from family goes up, but it's still reasonable in my opinion. 

    Both the above are during your sea tour.  Each tour lasts two to four years and you swap between sea tours and shore tours.

    Shore tours vary tremendously.  If you go to a school, your hours are like any other student.  If you serve in the Pentagon or another big shore establishment like Chrystal City or Bupers, you'll have typical office hours.

    My advice: the first thing you need to do RIGHT NOW is determine what it takes to get a commission.  I'm pretty sure an AS degree is not going to cut it.  You need at least a Bachelor degree and preferrably a BS.  You also need to enroll RIGHT NOW in an ROTC program so you can get commissioned as soon as you graduate.  ROTC can also help pay for your college tuition and books.  Getting a degree and then getting a commission through the OCS program is not the best way to go, especially for aspiring pilots.

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