USAF to USN Inter-Service Transfer for Color Vision

Discussion in 'Questions about becoming a Navy Officer' started by bmather9, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. bmather9

    My story is a long one, but I commissioned into the USAF in May 2009 with a pilot slot and a Flying Class I that I completed at Langley AFB. In September I entered active duty and moved to my pilot training base but in October I was sent to Brooks City Base for Medical Flight Screening and disqualified for color vision. I'm still at the same base and have been fighting to get an exception that would let me into pilot training but it doesn't seem likely to get approved at all. 
    I recently talked to to an student naval aviator who had the same basic story as me; made it to his USAF pilot training base, got DQed for color vision, eventually was reassigned as a finance officer, but then succeeded in a transfer into Naval Aviation.

    I know for a fact that I can pass the Navy's color vision test; I've taken that very test (Ishihara PIP) 3 times throughout my life and scored 13/14 once and 12/14 twice (12/14 is the current Navy standard). I'm also confident I can pass a Falant. (I'm not sure if the Navy uses only Ishihara PIP, because the reg I read calls it PIP I, and from what I understand it could be either Ishihara or Dvorine, which are slightly different, please let me know if you know which ones they actually use). Unfortunately I was on a distant visual acuity waiver with the USAF (20/100 vision uncorrected, corrected to 20/20 or better with soft contact lenses) and I believe the Navy currently requires 20/40 uncorrected for SNA's.

    So I'm currently still waiting to hear about my exception for the USAF, but since it will most likely be denied, my plan is to ask for a Contingent Release from the USAF and then to apply to Naval Aviation. Before I do that, I will need to get PRK surgery, likely from the USAF, to meet the Navy's 20/40 uncorrected standard with a waiver. Once I'm medically acceptable (I believe 3-6 months after surgery) then I'd like to get a Navy flight physical so I'll know that I meet all the requirements before transferring.

    Following that I'll have to hope that the USAF will let me go on Contingent Release as I currently still have about 3.5 years left in my commitment, but from what I understand, that commitment would just transfer to the USN. Then I'll need to take all the tests, apply for Naval Aviation, hopefully get picked up, and complete the transfer.

    This is obviously going to be a long process, but considering I've made it this far with the USAF, I don't want to give up on my dream of being a military aviator. I just turned 25 years old on March 27th and assume that I will not meet the age requirement (I think it's 26) to start training as an SNA if I make it past all the other hurdles. I've read there are age waivers for current active duty members up to 48 months, so in that case I could start training as old as 30, but I'm not sure how common these waivers are.

    So I'm looking for information or help on any part of this process:
    PRK
    Navy Medical (Ishihara or Dvorine?) (PRK waiver)
    USAF contingent release
    Applying to Naval Aviation as a USAF officer
    Age waivers for active duty SNA's

    Any advice in general would be appreciated including who to contact in the Navy to apply and who to contact for a flight physical before transferring. Or if you think it's impossible then feel free to let me know if I should just give up on this before I really get my hopes up. Thanks for the help in advance
    bmather9, Apr 14, 2010#1
  2. HackerF15E

    Will the USAF even give you PRK if you are not yet rated?
    HackerF15E, Apr 16, 2010#2
  3. bmather9

    Will the USAF even give you PRK if you are not yet rated?
    From what I read they will, but basically non-rated careers get lower priority. If they won't do it I'd probably pay for it out of pocket since it's something I was planning to do anyway. bmather9, Apr 16, 2010#3
  4. bmather9

    Update

    So as I had guessed, my attempts to get back into pilot training with the USAF have failed. I have been reassigned as an engineer at Edwards AFB. I'm currently fighting to get a Flying Class III physical so that I could apply to test pilot school as an engineer or maybe get a chance to fly as a flight test engineer. Unfortunately I am meeting a great deal of resistance to this since I was already disqualified for color vision deficiency. This seems ridiculous to me considereing I've never even noticed my color abnormality my entire life and worked as a flight test engineer for 2 years before entering active duty.

    I'm actively pursuing an inter-service transfer into Naval Aviation. I've contacted NAMI and am planning to get an SNA flight physical soon. After this I will need to have PRK surgery with the USAF, then be checked by NAMI again to be sure I'm medically qualified. I've also contacted Navy personnel in Millington, TN about inter-service transfers and have learned the basic process I will go through if I am found medically qualified.

    The USAF eye surgery program has a 2-year wait list here at Edwards AFB; ridiculous considering my previous base and other bases I've talked to have no wait. So I've been working the system and found that I can travel to Nellis AFB for my pre-op screening, then will go to one of the surgery centers for a week to get the surgery and initial post-op. Edwards optometry is unwilling to take care of my long-term post-op check-ups so I have contacted a civilian doctor who will do this. I'll have to pay out of pocket for the check-ups but its a small price compared to cost of the eye surgery itself.

    I'll try to continue updating; if anyone has information that might help me, please let me know.
    bmather9, Jul 1, 2010#4
  5. MAKE VAPESRegistered User

    Wow, sounds like a lot of work.... if, then, else....

    Why didn't you man up and FLY NAVY in the first place? Just kidding, good luck, don't give up, but also don't drop the ball on your present "career/assignment" either.
    MAKE VAPES, Jul 1, 2010#5JTB7 likes this.
  6. jtmedliEnsign and SNA

    So as I had guessed, my attempts to get back into pilot training with the USAF have failed. I have been reassigned as an engineer at Edwards AFB. I'm currently fighting to get a Flying Class III physical so that I could apply to test pilot school as an engineer or maybe get a chance to fly as a flight test engineer. Unfortunately I am meeting a great deal of resistance to this since I was already disqualified for color vision deficiency. This seems ridiculous to me considereing I've never even noticed my color abnormality my entire life and worked as a flight test engineer for 2 years before entering active duty.

    I'm actively pursuing an inter-service transfer into Naval Aviation. I've contacted NAMI and am planning to get an SNA flight physical soon. After this I will need to have PRK surgery with the USAF, then be checked by NAMI again to be sure I'm medically qualified. I've also contacted Navy personnel in Millington, TN about inter-service transfers and have learned the basic process I will go through if I am found medically qualified.

    The USAF eye surgery program has a 2-year wait list here at Edwards AFB; ridiculous considering my previous base and other bases I've talked to have no wait. So I've been working the system and found that I can travel to Nellis AFB for my pre-op screening, then will go to one of the surgery centers for a week to get the surgery and initial post-op. Edwards optometry is unwilling to take care of my long-term post-op check-ups so I have contacted a civilian doctor who will do this. I'll have to pay out of pocket for the check-ups but its a small price compared to cost of the eye surgery itself.

    I'll try to continue updating; if anyone has information that might help me, please let me know.
    Sounds like you're going about this the right way. My advice: Know everything about your eyes before and after the surgery. Know what the prescription is now, what it needs to be, what your problems are, and what it finally comes out at. Knowing this stuff for myself instead of relying on doctors is what got me my PRK waiver. Good luck. jtmedli, Jul 1, 2010#6
  7. bmather9

    Wow, sounds like a lot of work.... if, then, else....

    Why didn't you man up and FLY NAVY in the first place? Just kidding, good luck, don't give up, but also don't drop the ball on your present "career/assignment" either.
    The truth is I tried to go Navy in the first place, but I didn't meet the uncorrected distant vision standard. The Navy used to have a contact lens waiver policy for up to 20/400 (mine is 20/100) but they dropped it right before I could apply to OCS. In those days, PRK/Lasik wasn't really an option, so I went for the USAF since they gave me a waiver to wear soft contacts.

    As for my current assignment, its not bad at all; I love engineering, but it doesn't seem to be the type of engineering that I really enjoy, unlike my previous job. I'll stick it out and hope for the best. bmather9, Jul 1, 2010#7
  8. bmather9

    Good and Bad News

    About 3 weeks ago I had PRK eye surgery at Wright-Patterson AFB. I was able to read 20/20 each eye before I left on day 6 after the surgery, although it was blurry. Recovery has continued nicely and I don't seem to have any problems; I'll have a better idea of where I stand at my one month follow-up appointment.

    So looking ahead, I can get a Flight Physical with the Navy once 3 months from surgery has elapsed. Since I already went to a Navy doc to get tested for color vision and passed, I don't anticipate any problems in the full physical. Assuming I get through all of that I'll need to continue with my plan to get a conditional release from the USAF and apply to the Navy; my Squadron Commander is backing me up in every way with this.

    Now for the bad news; my Naval Aviation POC has told me that they don't plan to have any slots for inter-service transfers for SNA or NFO (last year they had 2 SNA's and 3 NFO's; the NFO spots went unfilled). He also said he expects zero for next year as well. So even with this bad news, there's really nothing I can do other than continue with the Flight Physical and my application with the hopes that a spot opens up. I figure if my application is completed and too many Academy/ROTC applicants get DQed then I might just get lucky.

    So with the dark outlook for me getting into Naval Aviation I checked with the Marines and Army; Marines aren't taking any transfers for any career fields this year for officers, and the Army will only take transfers into aviation if you're already rated. So I've been looking into Army National Guard (Air National Guard would DQ me for color vision) and it seems promising. I'm sure aviation slots are competitive as always but it seems that at any given time there are at least a dozen states with openings for aviation. I'm still researching and trying to figure out how I could make that one work, but at least there is hope.

    In the mean time, I'm still fighting color vision stuff in the USAF. My desired backup careers were the likes of Navigator, Special Ops, or Test Pilot School (as a Flight Test Engineer) all of which I am now disqualified for solely because of color vision. Getting accepted to any of these would be difficult, but at least I had a goal to shoot for. My FCIII physical for these jobs has been trying to get approved for 4 months now and I was even tested for color vision twice (once at the physical in May and again after I PCSed in August) both of which I passed. I'm sure good color vision is very important for all of these jobs, but something is seriously wrong here when I am qualified for these same jobs in all of the other services.

    I apologize for my complaining; I'd appreciate any info or suggestions about this whole process.
    bmather9, Oct 3, 2010#8
  9. HackerF15E

    Congrats on getting the surgery -- even if none of the rest of your career hopes pan out, that will be a lifelong improvement to your lifestyle.

    So, what is your plan from here? What kind of 'fight' do you have going with the AF regarding color vision?
    HackerF15E, Oct 5, 2010#9
  10. ryan1234

    Air National Guard would DQ me for color vision.
    Although it's the whole Brooks deal again, the ANG has a way of making things happen... not exactly sure about your case, but it may be something worth looking into...

    have you tried an ETP? ryan1234, Oct 5, 2010#10
  11. bmather9

    Congrats on getting the surgery -- even if none of the rest of your career hopes pan out, that will be a lifelong improvement to your lifestyle.

    So, what is your plan from here? What kind of 'fight' do you have going with the AF regarding color vision?
    The plan from here is to apply to Naval Aviation even though they say they have no slots for transfers; I'll periodically check with the Marines and Army to see if anything opens up. I might try for an ETP again with my new chain of command; other than that, I'll keep working in the AF as an engineer and try to find a way into the air.

    The "fight" I speak of is dealing with a Flying Class III physical; I need this physical to be able to fly as an engineer or apply for Test Pilot School (as an engineer). AFI48-123 states that I need to pass the PIP I and PIP II for an FCIII physical. For Flying Class I the regulation says something to the effect of "any type or degree of deficiency is disqualifying". So when I was at Brooks for FCI they gave me the full color vision work-up (consists of about 8 color vision tests). So even though I pass most of them (including the PIP I and PIP II) some of them reveal a color vision deficiency. Now that I have been deemed "color deficient" my FCIII is having lots of problems (for over 4 months) getting approved, even though I clearly pass PIP I and PIP II, as required by AFI48-123, on multiple occasions.

    Other than that I've read the USAF will be transitioning to a new color vision test (http://www.wpafb.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123214919). Unfortunately this probably won't help me; I come across as mildly color deficient with this test. So unless the actual standard of "any type or degree of deficiency is disqualifying" changes, then I'm outta luck. They claim in that article that even the mildest color vision deficiency has proven problematic in the modern military cockpit, but I have yet to hear of any such problems. I've talked with a former crew chief who worked on F22 displays who ended up finding out he was color deficient at Brooks after being selected for UPT. He claimed that he never had any issues with colors in his life, much less with those displays. Anyway there are approx. 70 USAF pilots currently flying with color vision deficiency that was discovered after UPT; none of them seem to have problems, and I've talked with a few who all say they've never noticed a difficulty at all. Most didn't even know they were color deficient. With the Navy/Marine and Army's less restrictive methods of testing for color vision, there are certainly even more mildly color deficient individuals flying in those services without any problems. I guess everyone has to draw the line somewhere, I just wish they would all end up with the same standards, whether they be the relaxed ones that I pass, or the strict ones that I fail...[end rant]

    ryan1234 said:
    Although it's the whole Brooks deal again, the ANG has a way of making things happen... not exactly sure about your case, but it may be something worth looking into...

    have you tried an ETP?
    I had ruled out the ANG because of Brooks, but you have a good point; it's worth a shot and I'll see where I get with it. I'll almost definitely need an ETP for the ANG since my medical records already label me as color deficient, but from my understanding, the ANG has an entirely different chain of command that might be more likely to approve an ETP?

    I did try for an ETP while I was still stationed at Laughlin AFB, but it was denied after 8 months. Basically, I think my squadron commander at Laughlin talked to enough medical people until he realized that it was next to impossible to get it to work, at which point he gave up. The more I think about it, maybe I should try again now that I've PCSed and have an entirely new chain of command. bmather9, Oct 6, 2010#11
  12. bmather9

    Just as an update, I have put the plans to transfer to the Navy on hold. Now that more than 3 months have passed since my PRK surgery I'm eligible to get a flight physical, but unfortunately my Navy contact still says there are no pilot slots for inter-service transfers for this fiscal year, and 99% chance there will be none next year as well.

    So my primary goal is to apply to Army National Guard units hoping that at least one state will pick me up for pilot training. I think I mentioned before active duty Army won't even talk to me since I'm not already an aviator. I have my Army flight physical scheduled for next week along with their flight aptitude test (AFAST). I'll post again when I get the results.
    bmather9, Jan 29, 2011#12
    • Super Moderator

    bunk22Super *********

    What test does the USAF use for color vision? I thought they used those color plates. The Navy, as far as I know, has always relied on the FALANT light test and thank goodness for those as I have a hard time with those plates. I'm coming up on 18 years active duty and if not for the FALANT, I doubt I would have been flying for the military.
    bunk22, Jan 29, 2011#13
    • Super Moderator
    • Contributor

    phrogpilot73Part of the 58%

    The Navy, as far as I know, has always relied on the FALANT light test and thank goodness for those as I have a hard time with those plates.
    I did the plates in Norfolk for my last flight physical. I'd say it's about 50-50 whether I get FALANT or plates. Good thing I don't have problems with either. phrogpilot73, Jan 29, 2011#14
    • Super Moderator

    bunk22Super *********

    I did the plates in Norfolk for my last flight physical. I'd say it's about 50-50 whether I get FALANT or plates. Good thing I don't have problems with either.
    If you fail the plates, they have to let you take the FALANT. I've been given the plates too, last time in 2008 in Pensacola. The clinic didn't have it anymore, the corpsman told me somebody walked off with it lol So they had a book with shapes, X's O's and triangles I think. I'm not worried as by this time, I'm not getting booted out for color vision and I actually pass damn thing. He said I got them all correct, 14/14 and to be honest, I was guessing :icon_mi_1 bunk22, Jan 29, 2011#15
  13. bmather9

    What test does the USAF use for color vision? I thought they used those color plates. The Navy, as far as I know, has always relied on the FALANT light test and thank goodness for those as I have a hard time with those plates. I'm coming up on 18 years active duty and if not for the FALANT, I doubt I would have been flying for the military.
    The USAF has traditionally used the PIP I plates (there are 3 versions, Ishihara, Waggoner and Dvorine, but they're all the same idea). More recently they added the PIP II (similar to the PIP I). Even more recently they added the PIP III, F2 plate, and the Cone Contrast test for pilot candidates. If all these tests aren't enough, they'll also throw in the D-15 color arrangement test and an anomaloscope. If any of these reveal even the mildest color deficiency you're DQed on the spot unless you're already a rated military aviator.

    It seems that they are going to ditch all of these tests in the near future and go with just the Cone Contrast test, which still will DQ anyone even with the mildest deficiency.

    phrogpilot73 said:
    I did the plates in Norfolk for my last flight physical. I'd say it's about 50-50 whether I get FALANT or plates. Good thing I don't have problems with either.
    I always pass the plates and the FALANT also but unfortunately that's not good enough for the USAF. So I'm stuck in the USAF and disqualified from every career field I want; that's why I'm trying to transfer services. bmather9, Jan 29, 2011#16
    • Super Moderator

    bunk22Super *********

    I assume the FALANT is the easiest and maybe, most realistic?? Don't get why the AF doesn't just use it. Maybe it's another way to weed out candidates. I've never had any issues, flying the ball (day/night), at night, seeing colors, etc. It seems the FALANT is good enough.
    bunk22, Jan 29, 2011#17
  14. bmather9

    I assume the FALANT is the easiest and maybe, most realistic?? Don't get why the AF doesn't just use it. Maybe it's another way to weed out candidates. I've never had any issues, flying the ball (day/night), at night, seeing colors, etc. It seems the FALANT is good enough.
    From what I can tell, the FALANT is generally the easiest and you are living proof of its validity. I've heard every argument under the sun from the USAF as to why they don't use the test anymore. They've claimed that they have more advanced cockpits that make use of more colors, which might be true for some airframes, but I can't imagine a scenario where I'd have a problem. I mean, I never even knew I was color deficient until the age of 24 and grew up using multicolor displays in video games, school, and everyday life. Just damned frustrating. bmather9, Jan 30, 2011#18
    • Super Moderator

    bunk22Super *********

    I don't pretend to know why the AF does thing the way it does. I won't say that the system is broken as I assume there are many more pilot canidates with normal color vision vice those with mild to severe color deficiencies. However, the navy has seemingly done just fine with their testing standards. I don't have any data as to mishaps caused by deficient color vision though I have heard of one in the 1970/80s than involved a mid-air of either two F-4's or two F-14's where color vision was an issue but I'm not quite certain of that and if it was, not sure if that was the primary cause. I mean keep it simple, a light test that if the facts back it, is sufficient enough to let those into the cockpit that won't have issue.
    bunk22, Jan 30, 2011#19
  15. bmather9

    I don't pretend to know why the AF does thing the way it does. I won't say that the system is broken as I assume there are many more pilot canidates with normal color vision vice those with mild to severe color deficiencies. However, the navy has seemingly done just fine with their testing standards. I don't have any data as to mishaps caused by deficient color vision though I have heard of one in the 1970/80s than involved a mid-air of either two F-4's or two F-14's where color vision was an issue but I'm not quite certain of that and if it was, not sure if that was the primary cause. I mean keep it simple, a light test that if the facts back it, is sufficient enough to let those into the cockpit that won't have issue.
    I know of the incident you're talking about; I believe the pilot in question was in an F-4 but I'm not sure of the other aircraft. If I remember the story, he ejected because he thought another aircraft was about to collide with him, supposedly due to his incorrect identification of the red/green wingtip lights. I spoke with one of the doctors who tested him after the incident and he told me that he was not even able to pass the FALANT. Supposedly he had slipped through the system, which I'm guessing was more relaxed back then. bmather9, Jan 30, 2011#20
  16. bmather9

    So I just got back from my trip to take the Army flight aptitude test (AFAST) and the flight physical. AFAST went well, scored 138 (90 is passing, supposedly 120 is competitive). Went through the whole 2-day flight physical ordeal and even passed the color vision book. Unfortunately, at the last stop with the flight surgeon, he said that since the USAF says I'm color deficient, that it doesn't matter if I can pass the Army tests.

    I argued about this for quite a while and made him pull up the regs on the computer; they read:

    "The US Air Force standard for pilot accession is COLOR NORMAL (no deficits found on screening) while the US Army and US Navy standard is for COLOR SAFE, translating to accepting those who may have some mild deficit, yet still pass the screening test algorithm (see the ATB, Color Vision Testing)."
    ...
    "The Army passing standard is PIP PASS (2 or less errors out of 14 presentations). If failing the PIP, but passing FALANT (or OPTEC-900, no errors in 9 presentations), this meets the standard, but REQUIRES a one-time ophthalmology/optometry evaluation to define the potential color axis and specific type of deficiency as well as assess for any underlying abnormalities for INFO ONLY status."

    I've passed the damn PIP 5 or 6 times for the military now (never failed it) and passed the FALANT twice at a Navy clinic just to make sure I could if I had to. Now I admit that the USAF did a full color vision workup on me and revealed that, without a doubt, I have a color vision deficiency. But based on the Army regs I quoted, I am mildly deficient, and still pass their test which should have classified me as "Color Safe" and not have DQed me.

    The flight doc submitted the physical to Fort Rucker with recommendation of DQ anyway. So I've contacted the physical qual department at Rucker and am waiting for a flight surgeon to call me back in the next few days. It just doesn't seem right to me, that they don't even follow their own regs. I guess I'm complaining to the wrong crowd, but I wonder if the same thing would happen to me if I went to get a Navy flight physical?
    bmather9, Feb 3, 2011#21
    • Super Moderator

    bunk22Super *********

    Sounds like you are having quite a difficult time over this. I'm not a flight doc but my guess is you wouldn't have an issue with the Navy folks. Then again, NAMI can be hard core but from I've seen, pass the Navy's test, all is good.
    bunk22, Feb 3, 2011#22
  17. bmather9

    An update about my army flight physical:

    After the army flight surgeon recommended me for DQ due to the USAF color vision testing (even though I passed the tests for the Army physical), I got in touch with Ft. Rucker aeromedical and they basically told me that they will approve me. They contacted the flight doc who DQed me but he wouldn't change his recommendation, saying that he had a "bad experience with color vision in the past". My Ft. Rucker contact apologized, but said if I could go get another physical with another flight surgeon somewhere else, and if I pass the color vision tests again, that they will approve it. So as annoying as it is to go through the whole physical again, its well worth it if this works out.
    bmather9, Feb 5, 2011#23
  18. A.E.Registered User

    Wow, talk about determination. Good luck, bmather9.. I'm sure your experience will translate to a great testament to your willpower if you need an interview to transfer to a ARNG unit.
    A.E., Feb 10, 2011#24
  19. bmather9

    Flight Physical Approved!

    So to update my story, the Army docs who said they would approve my physical, wanted me to take a specific version of the FALANT color vision test called the OPTEC 900. This thing was hard to find, but I eventually found an FAA doctor with it, went there and passed it without problems. I actually thought this test was easier than the regular Farnsworth Lantern, but the flight doctors said it lets slightly fewer color anomalies pass.

    After proving I could pass the OPTEC 900, I ended up going to a Naval Base and went through a whole new flying class I physical. I made sure they did both the PIP plates and the Farnsworth Lantern on me, both of which I passed. Since I did this with the navy, I asked them to submit it to both the army and navy.

    It took almost 3 weeks before they even submitted it to the Army. Once submitted, a week later I was notified that it was coded as incomplete. I had to request the physical from the records department to find out which things were considered incomplete. So I called my local flight medicine department at my USAF base, to see if they could accomplish the incomplete portions of the physical. They agreed and said they could finish it up without a problem.

    So I show up for my appointment to finish up tests for the flight physical, and give the list of missing tests to the technician who was going to be working with me. He takes the list back into the office, while I sit and wait about 45 mins, then he comes out and tells me they can do all the tests except for: measuring my total armspan, and leg length. I showed him directions on how to perform the measurements which were given to me by my army contact.

    I ended up speaking with the flight doc, and he said that since these measurements were not in the USAF regulations, that they could not perform them. I was mad as hell and argued with him a bit before I gave up.

    So in short, I was able to get in touch with the naval base who had completed my physical, and they were able to get me all the information I needed to complete the flight physical other than a "Read aloud test" and some blood work. The USAF doctors agreed to give me the "Read aloud test" and said my blood work was in the system. So I go back to the USAF doctor, complete the "read aloud test", and get a printout of my blood work which had previously been done. One of the three blood test results that I needed was missing. The woman I was working with said she could see it in the system, but didn't have the permissions on the computer to see or print the results. She said I would have to fill out a form and wait a few days for them to mail the results in. Quite frustrated again, I called the navy clinic once more, and they were able to get me the results of the test via a fax.

    That evening I submitted all the updated physical paperwork to the Army via email; the next morning my Army contact had approved it! He said he prioritized it since I seemed motivated. I got a copy of it sent back to me with a big stamp "Qualified" on the front!

    So I'm not sure where the Navy physical submitted to NAMI stands, but it still seems like the Navy doesn't have any open spots for inter-service transfers into pilot training. So I'm going to press on with the plan to go Army National Guard.
    bmather9, Apr 2, 2011#25
    • Super Moderator

    bunk22 Super *********

    Congrats...finally, eh :) Dude, what a pain in the ass and too bad there are no Navy slots. Hey, you can always switch over if that is your desire but my guess is once you start flying for the Army, most likely you'll be content. The AF is a bit ridiculous as to their CV standards but it is what it is. I've taken the OPTEC 900 as well, I think its shell is white or off-white? I thought that the colors were more distinct while the Falant colors always seemed more faded.
    bunk22, Apr 2, 2011 #26
  1. bmather9

    Quick Update

    Just a quick update, I got everything together for my applications to Army National Guard Aviation, and I'll be sending them out to the states I chose this weekend. If all goes well I should have interviews sometime in August and then could be at pilot training sometime next year. I'll update when I hear something back.
    bmather9, Jun 29, 2011 #27
  2. bmather9

    So I finally went to interview with Army National Guard Units and so far I've been offered flight training slots by 2 of them. I have some decisions to make about which aircraft I want to fly and where I want to live for the next 6 or so years after I finish flight training.

    The next big step is getting released from the USAF (I still have approx. 2 years commitment left). The USAF is generally getting rid of people right now so hopefully this isn't a problem.
    bmather9, Sep 1, 2011 #28
    • Super Moderator

    bunk22 Super *********

    Which aircraft??
    bunk22, Sep 1, 2011 #29
  3. bmather9

    Which aircraft??
    Apaches or Blackhawks. I think the Blackhawks are in a better location for me and it seems like they have an awesome and versatile role. Part of me still really wants Apaches just because its an awesome machine that gets to shoot stuff. bmather9, Sep 1, 2011 #30
    • Super Moderator
    • Contributor

    phrogpilot73 Part of the 58%

    Great to hear that it finally worked out for you. I would also like to take this opportunity to point out to other youngin's that this is the way you handle things. Work your ass off, and if you complain - only make note of the myriad of inefficiencies involved in military medicine.
    phrogpilot73, Sep 1, 2011 #31
    • Super Moderator

    bunk22 Super *********

    Dude, I would go Apache, hands down. One badass helo!!
    bunk22, Sep 1, 2011 #32
  4. bmather9

    Finally, I have good news to update this thread with. Today, the USAF officially released me from my commitment about 1.5 years early so I can transfer to the Army National Guard. Believe me, it is a long and difficult process because no one seems to know how to do this kind of thing. I'll spare the details, but if anyone's interested let me know.

    Things are looking good on the Army side as well; I plan to get oath of office the day after I separate from the USAF with no break in service, then I should be off to pilot training in a few months.
    bmather9, Jan 27, 2012 #33 revan1013 and Flash like this.
    • Super Moderator

    bunk22 Super *********

    Good to hear, need to make your story a sticky
    bunk22, Jan 28, 2012 #34
  5. Ishboo

    Bmather9, i think we have talked before...i cant remember but i am in a rather simular situation. Im active duty AF right now trying to fly in the Navy, Marines, Army...anywhere. Anyhow i will spare the details for now, can you hit me up with an email so we can talk. I am rather curious how you worked your service transfer. My email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

    Steve
    Ishboo, Feb 25, 2012 #35

Please login to post comments