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Old 08-22-2012, 06:57 PM   #21
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AF JTAC is the best thing going if you want to kill people wholesale
True.



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or CCT. JTAC/TACP=Army
JTACs & TACPs are USAF jobs.
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:31 AM   #22
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^ yes I know that... I am referring to them pretty much being the army since that is who the embed with on deployments more than not.
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:46 AM   #23
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I am active duty air force and let me break a few things down for you.

1. Aerial gunner does not necessarily mean he will be shooting the weapon. On the AC-130s the aerial gunners load the weapons and the pilots aim and pull the trigger. They also have the repsonsibilty of pulling flares if a missle is locked onto them.

2. I work aircraft maintenance and I 1000000% advise against it unless your son is ready to be overworked and underappreciated while getting paid the same as someone who sits at a desk for 8 hours a day. Us maintainers often work 12 hour shifts and almost never get holidays off. keep in mind that it does very for different bases and different airframes but the concept is generally them same throughout. Also it is not a very good career field on the outside

3. If your son wants to be a pilot then he should find an ROTC program right off the bat or go to the academy. There are opportunities to go from enlisted to officer but its not as simple as having a degree and filling out a form. Also, if he doesn't have a useful degree, it lowers his chances of being selected to become and officer. For example, a candidate with an art history degree is less likely to get selected over a candidate with an engineering or aviation degree.


Contracting is a very good choice and they have an extremely high reenlistment bonus (ive heard of people getting 90k, which is the max) and stay far away from security forces haha

Special forces (JTAC, TACP, CCT) is a totally different ball game and great if you like shootin ****
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:53 PM   #24
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OK fellas. great Advice but you're losing me on the acronyms. AF lingo, JTAC, TACP etc. I'm lost. You guys used just give me a ride and I jumped out half way through the flight.

Yes,he likes to shoot and is very good at shooting, but it's not his primary goal. His dream is to get in the F-22. ****, he knows all the specs on it already. Speed, dynamics, etc. We're definately going to look into the ROTC.

He already flies pretty good. LOL



Last edited by SAPPER; 08-24-2012 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:17 PM   #25
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If he wants to be a pilot, then try for the Academy. Most of the pilot billets go to Academy grads. However, that would be the only reason I would advise someone to go to the zoo. Make sure he has good eyes and isnt color blind. Hate to put up with 4 years of crap only to find out you cant pass a class 1 flight physical. Good Luck!
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Old 08-25-2012, 01:52 PM   #26
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If he wants to be a pilot, don't come in with less then a Bachelors. You'll more then likely not make age cutoff if you enlist first, do your time, finish a degree, then commission.
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Old 08-25-2012, 02:26 PM   #27
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JTAC is a certifiction that TACP and CCT can hold. JTAC is Joint Terminal Attack Controller. TACP you control aircraft for close air support via a radio. You are normally attached to an Army ground unit but they have SOF TACP that is attached to Ranger Battallions or SF ODA's.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:04 PM   #28
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I'm a prior enlisted infantry Marine reservist and I'm now a Marine officer going through flight school. There's a lot of good and a lot of bad related to doing the reserve/guard route, just like there is going ROTC and just like there is going to the Academy. A lot of my knowledge is obviously going to be Navy/Marine Corps specific, but feel free to shoot me any questions via PM you or your son might still have and I'll let you know what I know. I also have some old friends who did AF ROTC that I can get with as well. Best of luck to your son, and thank you for your service.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:29 AM   #29
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I'm a pilot like StoleIt (hey Neal), and if he's going to get a degree, get a degree, and be an officer, if he's not going to get one, go enlisted. The enlisted guys can tell you more about the E-side of things but the assessments about not going SF or Mx if you can help it are true. The AF crushes souls of these people. Holidays, decent hours, and a positive attitude are not things you will find on the whole in these occupations.

For the flying, go ROTC or academy. I was ROTC, and I minded my P's and Q's, did well on a PT test, got good grades, and did well on the AFOQT (the AF officers qualification test). The AFOQT is similar to an ACT/SAT. How are his scores on those? If he looks into the academy or ROTC these will matter. If he wants to fly, UPT and its prep courses total up to approx 60 weeks of busting your nuts before you're even a pilot and your 10 year commitment begins...yes, it starts after your wings. So you have to be in for the long haul. It is the most rewarding experience I've ever had in my life. I can say that.
After this, you go on to follow on training for your aircraft which can range from several months to a year. Then you will either be a copilot or a wingman, or in the case of RPA's you will be the Pilot In Command. Being a copilot or Wingman means you are flying under the supervision of an aircraft commander or flight lead in the case of a wingman. Then you become a flight lead or aircraft commander, then instructer, etc.

Meanwhile...you still have to deal with all of the officer bull. So heavy is the head that wears the crown but it's all worth it.

There is a dedicated officer field now for ALO's. Air Liaison Officers, they embed with the Army and can become qualified combat controllers if they play their cards right from what I hear. These are the guys clearing aircraft "hot" to drop or shoot ordinance. Every combat controller/JTAC I've ever met has loved it and if I can do an exchange as one, I will.

Bottom Line, don't try to be E then O, getting a pilot slot out of OTS is harder than in ROTC or academy. I personally would recommend ROTC because it allows you to develop more as a person socially, rather than living in the little blue bubble where everyone dresses and acts alike. I learned to manage my own time and be responsible for my actions. Not saying the academy is bad, just not my bag. Good luck to your son and all he hopes for. Feel free to PM if you have questions.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:26 PM   #30
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Bottom Line, don't try to be E then O, getting a pilot slot out of OTS is harder than in ROTC or academy. I personally would recommend ROTC because it allows you to develop more as a person socially, rather than living in the little blue bubble where everyone dresses and acts alike. I learned to manage my own time and be responsible for my actions. Not saying the academy is bad, just not my bag. Good luck to your son and all he hopes for. Feel free to PM if you have questions.
Just to clear up some language, Combat Control is a different career field, abbreviated CCT, who have Special Tactics Officers (STOs)

Air Liaison Officers (ALOs) are TACP officers, but their primary job is to be a staff officer at Army Brigade and higher, though the may get some time at a Battalion as lieutenants. The certification you are thinking of is JTAC. ALOs can be certified JTACs but they won't be down at the front like the enlisted guys, not for long anyway.

ALO/TACP and STO/CCT are career fields in the Air Force. JTAC is a DOD/NATO certification to say cleared hot that they can achieve.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:17 AM   #31
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I'm a pilot like StoleIt (hey Neal)
What up Zach!? How's Vegas?

Sucks I just missed ya when I was at Red Flag.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:15 PM   #32
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ALOs can be certified JTACs but they won't be down at the front like the enlisted guys, not for long anyway.

we have a couple guys who were ALO's but in tip top shape that were with SEALS and Rangers certified as JTAC's...when they were Majors....real snake eater types. It can be done.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:16 PM   #33
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What up Zach!? How's Vegas?

Sucks I just missed ya when I was at Red Flag.
And yeah, I am currently outside of CONUS, so you're good.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:45 PM   #34
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And yeah, I am currently outside of CONUS, so you're good.
I'll be there soon enough. Doing the Holiday shift again (two years in a row! yey)
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:01 PM   #35
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I'm in CE and couldn't be any happier with the Job I ended up with
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:33 PM   #36
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Be advised that the Aerial Gunner career field is being changed. There are proposals to merge Aerial Gunner, Rotary Wing Flight Engineer, and another job I forget into "Special Operations Aviation" and have them trained in all three.
Loadmaster is the other position.
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Also understand that Gunner's essentially have two platforms, they either get to door gun rotary wing, which will primarily be CSAR, or they are in the back of an AC-130 loading rounds. If they end up on a gunship (more likely), they aren't actually shooting anything, it's the (officer) FSO "pulling the trigger"
Its an enlisted guy pulling the trigger on the gunships, more specific a 1A4X1

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I am active duty air force and let me break a few things down for you.

1. Aerial gunner does not necessarily mean he will be shooting the weapon. On the AC-130s the aerial gunners load the weapons and the pilots aim and pull the trigger. They also have the repsonsibilty of pulling flares if a missle is locked onto them.
Not the pilot aiming or shooting, and its the loadmasters in the back watching for missiles and hitting the flares


OP if your son wants to fly and shoot **** off the gunship, tell him to look into the 1A4x1 afsc. It's not easy to get into gunships, and the fail out rate of the training there is at like 80% but its a lot of fun if he does it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OkoW...has_verified=1
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:39 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Madellous View Post
I am active duty air force and let me break a few things down for you.

1. Aerial gunner does not necessarily mean he will be shooting the weapon. On the AC-130s the aerial gunners load the weapons and the pilots aim and pull the trigger. They also have the repsonsibilty of pulling flares if a missle is locked onto them.

2. I work aircraft maintenance and I 1000000% advise against it unless your son is ready to be overworked and underappreciated while getting paid the same as someone who sits at a desk for 8 hours a day. Us maintainers often work 12 hour shifts and almost never get holidays off. keep in mind that it does very for different bases and different airframes but the concept is generally them same throughout. Also it is not a very good career field on the outside

3. If your son wants to be a pilot then he should find an ROTC program right off the bat or go to the academy. There are opportunities to go from enlisted to officer but its not as simple as having a degree and filling out a form. Also, if he doesn't have a useful degree, it lowers his chances of being selected to become and officer. For example, a candidate with an art history degree is less likely to get selected over a candidate with an engineering or aviation degree.


Contracting is a very good choice and they have an extremely high reenlistment bonus (ive heard of people getting 90k, which is the max) and stay far away from security forces haha

Special forces (JTAC, TACP, CCT) is a totally different ball game and great if you like shootin ****


this guy has some wise words. i've been in for almost 5 years in aircraft maintenance myself and if i could do it all over again i would NOT choose this career field or security forces.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:21 AM   #38
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if the plan is to fly, Air Force is not the best choice. You have a better chance of getting into a bird in the Marine Corps or Navy. The culture of the Marine Corps and Navy is more prone to select/encourage people to come from the enlisted side to officer side, pilot or otherwise. I have seen a pretty strong culutre against it in the AF.
If helicopters are your thing, the Army is supposed to have some kind of entry level program with that.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:45 AM   #39
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One more question that really concerns me. His medical history. He has had a broken collar bone and a broken arm. Both were pinned / plated / screwed but all metal is now out of his body and fully healed. Will this have an effect on anything he chooses.

The school year is flying by and he's not exactly sure what he wants to do. I'm trying to talk him into college first. He's troubled with peer pressure. Most friends are joining different branches right after grad. But he has the GPA, smarts and financial backing the others don't.

He's even thinking of joining the Army due to full ride college. A good friend is a recruiter and actually is USAREC recruiter of the year. I'm Retired and not too fond of the Army anymore. The only good jobs are SF & Ranger Batts (IMO). But as a father, not exactly where I want him to be.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:58 PM   #40
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Tell him to go TACP and be a JTAC. I absolutely loved my job. It's better than CCT, and PJ if he wants to be a medic, is good too. TACP is awesome though, and he'll be operational much much faster than any CCT guy (and better at the job too haha!!! ). Shoot me a PM if you have any questions.
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