Not really, you have to compete for your airframe, ironicly, the ANG is a nice way to go IMO, as you are gonna get the airframe at that that particular airbase has, which is great, and it's not as competitive I think, also, they play for school.
Bob Norris is a former Naval aviator who also did a 3 year exchange tour flying the F-15 Eagle. He is now an accomplished author of entertaining books about US Naval Aviation including "Check Six" and "Fly-Off". Check out his web site at http://www.bobnorris.com . In response to a letter from an aspiring fighter pilot on which military academy to attend, Bob replied with the following:
12 Feb 04
Congratulations on your selection to both the Naval and Air Force Academies. Your goal of becoming a fighter pilot is impressive and a fine way to serve your country. As you requested, I'd be happy to share some insight into which service would be the best choice. Each service has a distinctly different culture. You need to ask yourself "Which one am I more likely to thrive in?"
USAF Snapshot: The USAF is exceptionally well organized and well run. Their training programs are terrific. All pilots are groomed to meet high standards for knowledge and professionalism. Their aircraft are top-notch and extremely well maintained. Their facilities are excellent. Their enlisted personnel are the brightest and the best trained. The USAF is homogenous and macro. No matter where you go, you'll know what to expect, what is expected of you, and you'll be given the training & tools you need to meet those expectations. You will never be put in a situation over your head. Over a 20-year career, you will be home for most important family events. Your Mom would want you to be an Air Force pilot...so would your wife. Your Dad would want your sister to marry one.
Navy Snapshot: Aviators are part of the Navy, but so are Black shoes (surface warfare) and bubble heads (submariners). Furthermore, the Navy is split into two distinctly different Fleets (West and East Coast). The Navy is heterogeneous and micro. Your squadron is your home; it may be great, average, or awful. A squadron can go from one extreme to the other before you know it. You will spend months preparing for cruise and months on cruise. The quality of the aircraft varies directly with the availability of parts. Senior Navy enlisted are salt of the earth; you'll be proud if you earn their respect. Junior enlisted vary from terrific to the troubled kid the judge made join the service. You will be given the opportunity to lead these people during your career; you will be humbled and get your hands dirty. The quality of your training will vary and sometimes you will be over your head. You will miss many important family events. There will be long stretches of tedious duty aboard ship. You will fly in very bad weather and/or at night and you will be scared many times. You will fly with legends in the Navy and they will kick your a$$ until you become a lethal force. And some days - when the scheduling Gods have smiled upon you - your jet will catapult into a glorious morning over a far-away sea and you will be drop-jawed that someone would pay you to do it. The hottest girl in the bar wants to meet the Naval Aviator. That bar is in Singapore.
Bottom line, son, if you gotta ask...pack warm & good luck in Colorado.
P.S.: Air Force pilots wear scarves and iron their flight suits.
F100pw229, Im in AFROTC right now trying to get my pilot slot. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.
Bilal- THats the way the Navy does it. Start in F18s and transfer to F14s if youre good enough after several years. The Air Force track selects after UPT and you either fly T-1s for cargo/bombers A/C or T-38s for Fighters. When you get done with that you track select to whatever aircraft you happen to get to choose based on your rating on the class and the needs of the Air Force.
Oh, and I have never met one pilot that ironed his filght suit. They just throw it in the dryer to get the wrinkles out and then throw it on.
Hey Khan, shut yer yapper.... Last time I checked, when it comes to doing the J.O.B. in war, Vipers and other bomb droppers were the heat. I know a few Eagle drivers that would do well to fly Vipers. There are also a few that I would be happy to see stay in the eagle.
I did ROTC and loved every minute of it. Got a pilot slot, and from there on, you are equal to any other commissioning source.
OH, and DO NOT IRON OR PUT YOUR FLIGHTSUIT IN THE DRYER.... let it air-dry. (ruins the nomex otherwise)
super, you don't have to have a Private Pilots License in order to get selected for UPT, but you have to get one prior to actually going to UPT. The Air Force pays for it though and it's easy so it's not a big deal.