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Home Forums Air Force For ANG/AFR are you stuck with your initial airframe for your whole career?

  • For ANG/AFR are you stuck with your initial airframe for your whole career?

    Posted by scorchy on January 11, 2024 at 3:28 pm

    When getting picked up by a guard or reserve unit, one of the big benefits is you can kind of pick your airframe. Are you stuck with that forever, or are there opportunities to transition to other aircraft later in your career?

    SLAP replied 1 month ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • ryleypav

    Member
    January 17, 2024 at 6:46 pm

    You definitely can….more common would be transitioning to a different unit with the same A/C. But yes its possible. Common occurrence’s would be when units loose their flying mission and the pilots need to look elsewhere, or the unit itself transitions to a new airframe. In short, yes, but that means back to school and TX courses and all that jazz.

  • SLAP

    Administrator
    January 18, 2024 at 11:55 am

    Although it would be bad etiquette to leave the squadron that hired you early in your career (e.g. within the first few years after pilot training), it is not uncommon for people to transfer to different squadrons/aircraft within the Guard/Reserve.

    A couple rules of thumb:
    1. Once a fighter pilot in any jet, you are qualified to transfer to any other fighter OR non-fighter aircraft (except helicopters).
    2. Any non-fighter pilot can transfer to other non-fighter communities, but it is nearly impossible to transfer from non-fighters to fighters.
    3. The period between earning your wings and the 10th year of service makes you uniquely marketable – especially if transferring to a new squadron that flies that same aircraft. Why? Unlike a UPT hire, you pose no risk of washing out since you already have your wings and can contribute much sooner than hiring another person off the street. And Guard/Reserve squadrons can’t start pulling in experienced active duty pilots until their 10-year commitment is up.

    So, you don’t want to transfer too early because you may burn some bridges with the squadron that hired you, and you don’t want to transfer too late because you’ll have more competition with your active duty peers after their 10-year commitment is up. Between years 4-8 after earning your wings is probably the sweet spot.

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