Best path to fixed wing aviation in the Army?

b_sav

Airborne Intel
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Not sure if there are any of these unicorns prowling the forum, but I would love to hear from anyone in the know. I am looking to commission within the next year, and while I was set on intel for a while, I have been made aware of the small subgroup of Army aviators who are in both the fixed wing and intel communities. As I love aviation and love intel, this is my dream job.

The problem I am facing is that it seems damn near impossible to get into fixed wing aviation without a huge amount of luck. To go active duty, I would have to take a gamble that there were any aviation branch slots at OCS. Then at Flight School, it'd be another tossup as to if there will be any fixed wing slots.

The only way around this I have thought of is to reach out to every fixed wing unit in the reserves/guard, give them my resume (intel background and currently in flight school) and prove to them why I would be the right guy for them. Is there another way? Any reserve component units you guys can name that have fixed wings (google not working for me on this one)?
 

ThunderHorse

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Not sure if there are any of these unicorns prowling the forum, but I would love to hear from anyone in the know. I am looking to commission within the next year, and while I was set on intel for a while, I have been made aware of the small subgroup of Army aviators who are in both the fixed wing and intel communities. As I love aviation and love intel, this is my dream job.

The problem I am facing is that it seems damn near impossible to get into fixed wing aviation without a huge amount of luck. To go active duty, I would have to take a gamble that there were any aviation branch slots at OCS. Then at Flight School, it'd be another tossup as to if there will be any fixed wing slots.

The only way around this I have thought of is to reach out to every fixed wing unit in the reserves/guard, give them my resume (intel background and currently in flight school) and prove to them why I would be the right guy for them. Is there another way? Any reserve component units you guys can name that have fixed wings (google not working for me on this one)?

I'm not an SME on this, but I do know a few people who went fixed wing. Fixed wing in the Army is not an opportunity that Lieutenants receive. Only experienced aviators can compete for slots in that component. There is an applications and accessions process that occurs when you're getting ready to go to Captain's Career Course.

The reserve units that do have fixed wing assets likely will be just as competitive to get into as it is for the slots on the active duty side.

Are you saying you're currently in a civilian flight school? I'll be honest, that has limited bearing how you'd access for a job an MOS at OCS. Which I get why you're asking about reserve units to an extent.
 
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SOSTCRNA

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Also no expert but I’ve flown in lots of small fixed wing aircraft in lots of different places and had the opportunity to talk to pilots with several backgrounds. Some were AF commissioned guys, some were contractors. The army guys all started rotary wing and competed for a chance at fixed wing. They loved their job but all had to put in their time.
 

b_sav

Airborne Intel
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I'm not an SME on this, but I do know a few people who went fixed wing. Fixed wing in the Army is not an opportunity that Lieutenants receive. Only experienced aviators can compete for slots in that component. There is an applications and accessions process that occurs when you're getting ready to go to Captain's Career Course.

The reserve units that do have fixed wing assets likely will be just as competitive to get into as it is for the slots on the active duty side.

Are you saying you're currently in a civilian flight school? I'll be honest, that has limited bearing how you'd access for a job an MOS at OCS. Which I get why you're asking about reserve units to an extent.
Thank you for this input. I'm currently just working towards my written test for a private pilot license, so not in too deep on the civilian side. I have spoken with someone in my state's guard and it sounds like that's the case: get time in on a Blackhawk and then O2/O3 prove yoursef as the right person for the MC-12 role. Sounds good to me!
 

Give’m the Rooster

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It is possible to fly fixed wing out of flight school. There is usually a few (like 1-3) slots per common core class. You will almost have to be top of your class to get one unless some of your classmates prefer superior aircraft such as the Apache. Just keep in mind that the fixed wing world in the Army does a wide array of missions.

I would recommend you check out Vertical Reference. It’s a helicopter forum with a great military section focused on Army Aviation.

General Military Helicopter Discussions
 

DA SWO

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Thank you for this input. I'm currently just working towards my written test for a private pilot license, so not in too deep on the civilian side. I have spoken with someone in my state's guard and it sounds like that's the case: get time in on a Blackhawk and then O2/O3 prove yoursef as the right person for the MC-12 role. Sounds good to me!
OK ANG flies the MC-12
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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That's why I was pissed when Congress made the AF give up most of the airframes.

I'm an MC-12 fanboi for life because of guys/ gals I know who flew those missions and SIGACTS/ MISREPs that tell their stories. Their "customers" on the ground don't even know what the MC-12's did for them. A JTAC with FMV and an MC-12 changes the game for the GFC. Suddenly, and without warning, wives aren't widows.
 
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