National Aviation Week on August, 2022: How do I become an Aviation Officer in the army?
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To become Army Aviation you need to excel in your schoolwork, do well at Leadership Development Advance Course (LDAC), pass your flight physical, decide if you want to go Active Duty vs National Guard/Reserve, and either sign an Additional Duty for Service Obligation or get extremely luck.
Aviation is arguably the hardest branch to get, along with Finance, even harder than Infantry due to the fewer numbers accepted. Your GPA will count for 40% of your branching score, so unless you have a 3.2+ you aren't looking too good on your chances.
Let me give you a quick breakdown on how branching works, understanding how you get assigned Aviation should help you get a feel for what you need to do to help yourself. Feel free to email me if you get confused, it took me quite a while to understand it myself:
Everything you do over your time in ROTC is counted and adds together to 100 points roughly September of your MS 4/senior year. Items counted are: cumulative GPA (i.e. one lousy semester can REALLY hurt), PT score (3 tests count, the one you take at LDAC, 1 spring and 1 fall test your MS 3 year), extracurricular activities (jobs, fraternities, color guard, etc and officer/leader positions are what you want), LDAC rating, Professor of Military Science rating, and a few other things worth fractions of points. These things all combine to equal a point score for you (highest usually being around 95pts, lowest around 72pts).
This score determines your ranking on the Order of Merit List (OML). The OML is a national list of all of the ROTC cadets who are going to commission and need branches for that particular year group. Generally this is between 4000-5000 cadets so tenths of a point on your OML score can mean a rise/drop of hundred of people. People going National Guard or Reserve are pulled out from there (they talk to their units and get Letters of Request) and leaves you with the Active Duty OML.
Each cadet submits their 'wish list' of branches they want to choose. Each of the 16 branches has a set number of second lieutenants they want/need. To prevent one branch from getting all of the 'best' LTs, each branch will only take 1/2 of the number they want from the top 50% of all the LTs.
Example: Aviation wants to take in 130 lieutenants for 2011. They'll take the first 65 people they come across who have Aviation as their #1 choice, then not accept anyone else until they get to the 50% mark on the OML. Then they re-open and take the next 65 people who want Aviation.
The top 10% nationally get what they want unless the particular branch fills up before they get to the end. After the top 10% choose, each branch looks for people that have filled out ADSOs which is a contract saying "you give me this branch, I'll give you 3 more years Active Duty service". After all the ADSOs are gone, they look for who else requested _x_ branch as they move down the OML.
If you're not looking to go Active Duty you have to find/get help finding a NG/Reserve unit that needs a 2LT and is willing to have you once you commission. Then you're guarenteed Aviation but most likely have to wait a few years before you go to flight school. Most people down here who are National Guard are First Leiutenants which means they've been waiting for over 18 months to get here. Depending on your state you may get to go soon, or it may take you forever to go as different states get fewer flight school slots as others.
It is very do-able to do this and get branched Aviation. 4 people from my school got Aviation. Just do everything you can to ace your school work, do well on PT tests, basically just be a good person and you should be ok. Best of luck. Feel free to contact me with more questions, email is on my Y!A profile here. Sorry for the length of the answer.
Question about the National Guard ROTC?
1) It looks good for the hiring process, but no.
2)For National Guard, 6 years plus 2 Inactive
3)If you take the GFRD Scholarship, it will be 6.
4)Always a possibility
5)Generally 1 weekend a month and two weeks a year. Some units do more, but only slightly more.
(ie, aviation, SF, EOD, some combat arms)
Also, if you have the opportunity, SMP. You will learn a great deal more about leadership and you'll be more ready when you commission.
National Guard Question?
I'm active duty so I don't know about guard life other than from what I've heard from those who are in it. In the guard, you only go to drill one weekend out of the month, and you will have a 2 week training period once a year. That's all that is required, although if a natural disaster happens you will most likely get called to do whatever they need you to do. The guard also deploys like active duty, although from most of my friends in the guard they say that they have the option to volunteer first, and usually the list of volunteers gets full and they don't always deploy. That's only going on what I've heard.
As far as a helicopter mechanic, I'm originally from a city near Ft. Rucker, AL where they do most of the aviation training. I know many civilian aviation mechanics that work for the Army there and they all make a good living. Going into that MOS would be a great way to get the training at AIT and it will help you get a civilian job doing the same thing you do for the Army. Seeing how you are in the military, you'll get picked over those who have never served. You may have to relocate, but it may be worth it in the end. Its a good trade to have.
If I were you, I would go ahead with your plans. I think you'll be happy in the end. Good luck on your decisions and your future with the military!