Pilot Venture

Discussion in 'U.S. Air Force' started by Claire James, Apr 5, 2018.

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  1. Claire James

    Claire James Officer Candidate

    Apr 5, 2018
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    I have been struggling for a few years now trying to join the Air force. I would really appreciate any advice or guidance. I will try to give as brief a backstory to this as possible, but it is quite complicated. I wanted to become an Air Force pilot and I decided to apply for the January 2017 board. I started my application process very early, in May of 2016. The first paper application I submitted had all four rated position checked, but I realized my mistake and sent a correct application with only pilot listed. They confirmed that they had received and submitted this corrected application. I received a phone call in March of 2017 from a Technical Sergeant who told me I had been selected for Combat Systems Officer. I was confused as I had been told that I could not be considered for positions I had not applied for. I mentioned this to him. He said that was untrue but that I did not have to take the position. I contacted my recruiter and told him I would like to apply again next board with my license and see if I can get selected for pilot. He told me that should swear in as a Combat Systems Officer and hope to be bumped up to pilot should other candidates not qualify medically. He told me that if I didn't get bumped up that I could just not go, but, just as I would never apply for a position I had no intention of taking (and wasting AF time in this way), I would never swear my name to one either, even if it meant losing that chance. I didn’t want to play that game so I told him that I could not do that but that I would really like to apply again with my pilot license and present a stronger application to the next board. He said that was fine. As a side note, I never meant anyone from the Air Force in person. All communication was via text message, which really added to the strange disconnect throughout this process. I went back to the Air Force in July 2017 to apply for the upcoming board, I sent an email. They responded with one line that read: Unfortunately due to your declining your commission you are ineligible to apply for any future boards. Ouch. After some careful prodding though, a recruiter finally reached out to me and asked that I write a letter to give to his leadership, as he may be able to get approval to re-apply. I wrote the letter. He said that it did not address the declination properly. And it was at this point, over a year from that initial application that I finally got the truth. They had sent in the wrong application, with all position listed, and that I had, in fact, declined a position I had applied for. He said that this declination showed my lack of commitment character, that I had wasted their time and money. He said that I had to address that in the letter. I was devastated. I could not imagine ever being seriously considered by the Air Force again, but I told him I would send him a new letter in March when I would be a licensed pilot and likely a stronger candidate. So, I accelerated my flight training. I worked two jobs 7 days a week, spent 10 grand, flew every day weather permitting 5 am - 8 am, worked 9 -6 pm , flew 6 pm to 9pm, every day for two months, trying to get as many hours as humanly possible to make myself a better applicant. I sent him the new letter in March addressing what he had asked. He told me his time in recruiting was coming to a close and that there was no opportunity for me to apply now, but to try again in FY 2019. It was a terrible let down. He said he would send my letter in though and get an answer about applying for FY 2019 by the end of the week, but it's been a month. So here is my dilemma, I have now aged out of being able to apply for the Navy and I am close to doing the same with Marines (I was 25 when i started this, 27 in May). I would rather be in the Air Force, but I am afraid that this preference will prevent me from ever serving at this point given my age. I have become a pilot for this reason only. I do not want to be a commercial pilot. And while I recognize that being specific about the way you want to serve is a kind of contradiction to the act itself, I am dedicated to serving. I believe that life presents contradictions such as these so that we do fight, so that we earn who we are. My becoming a pilot was a conviction and I made the difficult decision to stand behind it. But their doubt is valid, I would doubt me too. It was not a selfless choice, which is why I told recruiters that I would be willing to commit any number of years so as to substantiate or prove my dedication. I'd commit the rest of my life if that was what was asked. I can get no traction with them. Do I wait for the possibility to apply Air Force next year, or should I go with the Marines?

    Thanks for any help with this.
  2. BlueHawk

    BlueHawk Major

    Jan 19, 2017
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    Well it sound like you have bump into a mess that is not your fault and you are just a bit unlucky. Go to this site and chat with that person in live chat. Ask for recommendation what to do. So there will not be done this mistake again. https://www.airforce.com/frequently-asked-questions
    Get your self to a air force forum. Collect all the advice you need before taking action.