So I’m a national guard guy with a solid job until the pot of money dries up in the near future. I still love flying helicopters and I don’t have near the hours to make it a career. I’ve sat in the shadows to see if the hype is really what it is. Let me preface all this with the fact that I wholeheartedly agree with a lot of you leaving. Especially active guys. A lot of active duty friends have expressed the same issues in the aviation world that 99% of you are popping smoke for, so I get it. The opportunities are booming right now, and it’s a once in a lifetime deal.
So first off, as a guard guy, how easy is it to maintain your guard life and fly for the regionals? In the beginning, some guys made it sound like no big deal, scheduling gets that we have drill and requirements, and they work with you. Recently, I’ve heard from a couple people start to act like it’s a pain in the rear to schedule your lines and still make army minimums ( heard some people get moved off that weeks line and kind of miss out on pay -if that makes any sense ).
Whats the money really work out to? I know it isn’t much, not terrible, but not great; but if you work harder, you can make great money. But as a commuter, with no desire to move to a hub right now in life, how does it all play out with AFTPs, drill, holding a line, and special mission trips for the guard?
How does family work into it? I have a 2 year old and missed her first year because of deployment, so my wife is very sensitive as far as “being gone”, whether it’s holding a line, AFTPs, or drill. Being home a couple nights a week doesn’t seem that awesome to her. It’s not deployment, but it isn’t physically being there. Just looking for some insight.
I’ll have more as I think of it. I like to do my homework before I commit to doing this, and it’s a big commitment. I just want to ensure it’s right for me and my family. Thanks!
Great questions. I'm also a guard guy with no intention on leaving any time soon, and still in the application process. Hopefully someone can shed some insight.
My situation is I'm single and willing to relocate to my HUB, but just wondering if that's the best move with still having to fulfill my guard obligations. I suspect it's going to be somewhat difficult to maintain minimums, especially if you're FAC 1.
I'm an active duty guy planning to jump to the NG.
I spoke to a fellow CPT in the NG and he hated having to maintain minimums while working for United. Too much time away from the family.
I have another friend who is a W-2 who loves it.
Seems like it depends on if you're living near both your unit, and your domicile. And weather or not you're in a leadership position. I'll see if I can get either or both to wiegh in here.
Hey great questions and concerns. As a guard guy I can give you the wonderful strong answer of...it depends. Living in base will always make things easier. However if you must commute, go for the easiest domicile you can reach. It also depends on your state. Here in CA they are putting out for command to work with airline guys since so many of us a ready to bounce. That being said I just got back from deployment and have yet to see how that works out. The Airlines are very reasonable in working with your drills, just remember drills (make that any orders) are a hit on your paycheck. If your unit will let you do SUTAs until your seniority allows you to work with your schedule that will help financially. The downside is then you are away from your family on your day off.
All that being said, I still think it is worth it. Guard isn’t forever and the upside in the airlines is too great financially and lifestyle. No more worrying about work when you’re home, if you’re like me, I had to commute an hour and a half each way to work every day at my old job. I may have seen my family every day, but quality time wasn’t there. Now I get to be home for 3-4 days a week and truly be there for them.
I won’t say it’s for everyone but it is for me.
I'm a long time airline guy and a mid time Guard guy.
What hasn't been discussed, which also needs to be thoroughly understood by you, the service member is: USERRA.
While your civilian employer should work with you, they have to work with in terms of Guard commitments. Each State is different on how you set up AFTP's and UTA's however, it's important to know you are protected by many things under USERRA.
You are required to give verbal notification to your employer for military service less than 31 days; orders are required for periods greater than that.
How you manage your schedule is all dependent on your seniority. I've yet to hear of an airline that honors mil service ahead of company service. By that I mean, dropping a trip that falls on a mil day, and pay protecting you.
Guard and Reserve flying is a pain in the butt. I've balanced both since 2012, and it doesn't get easier with time. However you have to figure out what is more important for you.
Initially Guard flying was more important, as it paid more (14yr W2). Now I'm a 4th year captain at an LCC and I make more than a 4-star. I plan AFTP's after I get my monthly schedule (generally the 14/15th of the month). I drive to both airline work and my unit. I'm fortunate in that regard. For those of you who are commuting to either, it will burn you out.
Looking like a zombie in SDF while catching a UPS jumpseat grows tiring.
Schooner78, I'm pretty sure you RIP'd with my unit last fall. I was A co flying Hawk's.
Sprirt ORD A320 Captain
CW2 UH60 AMSO
SPA ALPA Mil Rep