F-16 ANG lifestyle

So you want to be a Viper driver, mechanic, loader, avionics technician...? Here you will learn that you will need education, hard work and steadfast dedication.
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moniker

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Unread post18 Sep 2011, 22:35

Hello!

I'm looking to see if it's possible for someone to attend medical school while in the ANG. My details and background are below.

I'm an enlisted flyer in the AF, and I've been in for seven years as a (flying) Chinese linguist. I'm almost done with my undergrad in Biology, and am a straight A student.

I'm not worried about academic stress or juggling multiple things at one time. I've completed a significant number of classes while deployed or during language training, and it's never been an issue.

I'm just curious to know if anyone's ever heard of someone trying something as insane as attending medical school while in the ANG. Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks!
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moniker

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Unread post18 Sep 2011, 22:37

Just to clarify, I intend to fly any kind of fighter I can in the ANG.
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deadseal

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Unread post19 Sep 2011, 04:30

how are you a "flyer" with no BA?
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deadseal

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Unread post19 Sep 2011, 04:31

or do you have a BA in biology?
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tjodalv43

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Unread post19 Sep 2011, 04:58

I know a guy who is part time Guard and an MD. IIRC he did his 4 years of medical school before going to UPT. Definitely possible to do both, but definitely not easy!
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03fomoco

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Unread post19 Sep 2011, 23:29

You need to get your BA and then find someone who is willing to invest into you as a Flight Surgeon for a "X" numbers of years in return in service. I met a guy recently who was an Electrician in the Air Force for 6 and got his degree and then the Reserves picked him up and paid for his MD and he even became a Surgeon after that. The best part for him is he can focus on medicine and also get a ride pretty much whenever he wants.

You are not going to become an MD and a fighter pilot at the same time. One or the other has to happen first. It cannot be done. If your were an MD and met the pilot board and were selected that might happen. Or the inverse, if you had your BA and were selected by a pilot board you could learn to fly fighters and then then once traditional pursue your MD while also being a traditional guardsman.

There might be 1-2 people on this planet of billions that could be both a good MD and Fighter Pilot at the same time but I think most that are in this position would admit one discipline has to suffer to be good at the other.

I would said follow your passion, if it is driving something pointy then get your BA and try and meet a pilot board, I can tell you in my guard unit all selections I have seen are from within and from guys in there mid twenties with years of great service to our unit. Also the selections were always a guy that was a "best fit" over the guy with some me, me, me resume. All the other drivers coming into our unit came with AD time in the seat (and type).

If it is medicine, pursue that as a traditional guardsman and then I don't think you would have much issue being a flight surgeon. You said you were an enlisted flier, go talk to your your flight doc and see what he has for advice.

We previously had an outstanding commander (General) who was also a DVM. Want to talk about a "driven" individual.
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lincoln78

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Unread post20 Sep 2011, 02:42

Concur with 03fomoco. I collect stories of unusual career paths and I am not aware of any dual fighter pilot/doctors. I have run into several former pilots who went to med school and served as flight surgeons. Mid 80's at NAS Corpus one of the FSs completed the mulit-engine pilot program, but I think the Navy preferred him as a Doctor. Not sure if he did any operational flying.

Not sure if it is advisable to have a reserve career concurrent with Med school. Have you considered USUHS (joint Med school in Bethesda, MD, done as an active O-1) or a HPSP scholarship (military pays tuition/books/etc plus a $2000/month stipend and 45 days AD (reserve O-1) during break). All three services offer HPSP; I think all have 4/3/2 year programs. Doctors come in as O-3, prior service time counts for longevity.

Best wishes,
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discofishing

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Unread post20 Sep 2011, 04:28

http://haysfreepress.com/archives/22220

This dude is a Doctor/Fighter Pilot. I bet he flies drones now though :(

When he’s not practicing medicine, Dr. Louis “Andy” Davenport feels the need – the need for speed.

Davenport has an unusual side job for a physician in Kyle: He’s a fighter pilot, flying F-16 jet fighters for the Texas Air National Guard. To his surprise, he opened last week’s edition of the Hays Free Press and saw a story and photos about one of his old F-16s. The decommissioned jet is getting a paint job in a Buda shop.

“I immediately recognized it and said, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s my airplane,’” Davenport said.

It wasn’t just the type of airplane he used to fly. He piloted that exact F-16, blue and yellow color scheme and all.

“I was actually the last one to fly that particular airplane on its last official mission before it was retired,” he said. “I’ve flown that plane a lot, actually.”

The F-16’s final mission came during an April 2008 event with Gov. Rick Perry.

The plane’s unique paint job commemorates the 90th anniversary of Ellington Field in Houston. Ellington’s F-16 program was canceled in a base realignment soon thereafter, and Davenport left Ellington for the Air National Guard’s 149th Fighter Wing’s unit in San Antonio.

One of Ellington’s legacy F-16s – the one featured in the Aug. 3 edition of the Hays Free Press – was sent to Camp Mabry in Austin. The jet is being painted by Aguirrie Paint and Body in Buda, and on Sept. 10, it will debut as part of a new exhibit at Camp Mabry titled “9-11 and Beyond: The Texas National Guard in the War on Terror.”

Davenport, whose military rank is major, flies at least five missions each month. Not surprisingly, his call sign while in flight is “Doc.”

Though it might seem odd to combine medical and aeronautical pursuits, it made sense for Davenport. He specializes in internal and aerospace medicine and applied to become an astronaut.

Davenport was asked if he would try to participate in any future space expeditions as a NASA astronaut.

“I don’t think so,” he said. “I was really excited about (President George W.) Bush’s mission of going back to the moon and beyond, but these missions are no longer being considered in the immediate future.”

President Barack Obama canceled the previous administration’s plans to send astronauts on moon missions by 2020. Instead, he is offering incentives for the private sector to develop the next generation of spacecraft while calling for a mission to Mars.

As for Davenport, he moved to Kyle last December with his wife Meredith, who is an OB/GYN with Hays Women’s Health.

“Meredith and I have committed ourselves to Kyle and the local community, so I don’t see us picking up and moving again,” he said.

Read more at the Hays Free Press http://haysfreepress.com/archives/22220#ixzz1YSY2j0Wu


I think we've talked about this or something similar in another thread

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-13463.html
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tjodalv43

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Unread post20 Sep 2011, 04:40

He's still flying part time with the 149th.
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exfltsafety

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Unread post20 Sep 2011, 05:09

Following bio from http://www.hpee.org/editorbd.html#McCarthy is of the first F-16 fighter pilot/doc:

Colonel Geoffrey W. McCarthy
United States Air Force (Retired)
Aviation Medicine
Recently retired from the US Air Force, Colonel Geoff McCarthy was one of few Pilot-Physicians who actively flew military aircraft and simultaneously held Flight Surgeon status. After graduating from the USAF Academy, he flew fighters for several years, including a combat tour in Viet Nam. Later while in medical school, he resumed flying the F-100 and later A-10 in the Massachusetts Air National Guard and continued flying while in private medical practice. A chance to be the first F-16 Pilot-Physician brought him back to active duty. He analyzed the problem of G-Induced Loss of Consciousness and minimized fatal accidents from this previously obscure phenomenon. Later while an exchange officer with the Royal Air Force at Farnborough, UK, he verified that previous negative G-force exposure exacerbates this problem. His other interests include spatial disorientation, motion sickness, human tolerances to impact, and fear of flying. He has flown over 4000 hours in single-seat jets, and is author of several papers, plus numerous articles in the Journal of Human Performance in Extreme Environments, Flying Safety, and other periodicals. A Fellow of both the Aerospace Medical Association and the American Academy of Family Practice, he is also a Diplomat in Aviation Medicine, Royal College of Physicians and an elected member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and an Assistant Professor of Community Health, Wright State University.
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discofishing

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Unread post20 Sep 2011, 08:40

He's still flying part time with the 149th.


You mean controlling? All they have is drones now from what I've heard. I hope this isn't the case, though.
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exfltsafety

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Unread post20 Sep 2011, 15:02

All they have is drones now from what I've heard. I hope this isn't the case, though.


You should visit their website. An article from mid-August (http://www.149fw.ang.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123269633) shows an F-16 in a hangar and mentions their consideration for conversion from the F-16 to the F-35.
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moniker

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Unread post20 Sep 2011, 22:00

@deadseal, I'm an enlisted flyer. 1A871 and 1A872 are my AFSCs.

@03fomoco, this is all really great input, I appreciate your response! My question to your response is this line, "If it is medicine, pursue that as a traditional guardsman and then I don't think you would have much issue being a flight surgeon." This is essentially my plan, that I first become a driver and after 4 years (starting with UPT, IFF, etc), I try to attend med school. Understandably this would be 'extremely difficult' to attend a normal civilian school, and it would fall into the realm of 'easier' to have the military sponsor my schooling in exchange for making me a flight surgeon - I'm just trying to see what's possible and plan accordingly.

@lincoln78, I have not heard of these options before, thank you for mentioning these! I will do some research to see if these make sense for me.

@everyone else, thank you for the inspiring stories. It is inspiring to hear of other people's success.

Some more info - since I'm 24 right now, I won't be able to attend med school prior to applying for UPT, as I'll be over the 28.5 age limit. I know there's waivers, but I shouldn't count on that I think. I'm just looking to do the fighter thing for four years, then attend med school concurrently with guard/reserve service.

Thanks again for everyone's responses!

V
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moniker

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Unread post20 Sep 2011, 22:05

"After graduating from the USAF Academy, he flew fighters for several years, including a combat tour in Viet Nam. Later while in medical school, he resumed flying the F-100 and later A-10 in the Massachusetts Air National Guard and continued flying while in private medical practice. "

This is exactly what I want to do. I didn't consider dual status flight surgeon/fighter pilot, but I admit it is an ingenious idea. I'm so excited for it all!
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twintwinsingle

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Unread post20 Sep 2011, 22:28

I've flown with 2x Flight Docs who were also current and qualified an fighter/attack aircraft at the same time. One in the A-10 and one in the F-15C. probably more, but those are the only I've heard of.
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