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  1. #1
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    Army Reservist Air Traffic Controller

    Hello everyone, I'm an Army Reserve controller. I have a CTO and will be earning another in a couple of weeks. Currently, I am deployed in Kuwait, but will be returning to the US in a couple of months. I have been looking for both ATC and Train Dispatcher jobs, but have had no luck in finding any positions open. I was wondering are there any suggestions to places I should look as well as any general suggestions for a Reservist controller. It seems like the Reserves doesn't get looked at as highly as Active Duty. ;-(

  2. #2
    MikeATC's Avatar
    Retired FAA, NATCA Member

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    Re: Army Reservist Air Traffic Controller

    Mike it isn't reserves that is the issue, it's the word Army controller (no offense intended). The problem is that as a whole Army controllers don't do well in the contract or FAA world because they usually don't have busy fixed wing tower experience with their helicopter experience, they usually only have remote field time working just helicopters.

    Whenever we had former army controllers (some with several alledged CTO's) most didn't know any aircraft types (GA or Air Carrier), or basic aircraft performance. The last former army controller that I trained called every aircraft a cessna, this guy couldn't even identify a B767 (huge size difference) parked among B737's and regional jets, needless to say he didn't certify even after he was given lots of additional training time.

    Hopefully you'll be able to find a tower that will take a chance on you so that you can list other than army atc experience.

  3. #3
    FoggyWindow's Avatar
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    Re: Army Reservist Air Traffic Controller

    Train dispatchers work in a field that is highly subsidized by the government. Keep that in mind.

    My suggestion would be to take a contract position at one of the airports that have trouble keeping controllers for various reasons so you can get a CTO in a tower that isnt Army. Try Midwest ATC. They have a few places that have towers that are in places with a high cost of living (Martha's Vineyard for example) and have a decent amount of turnover.

  4. #4
    struts10's Avatar
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    Re: Army Reservist Air Traffic Controller

    Mike, these guys are right. I am a former Army controller and once people hear the word Army the honness is on you to prove that you are actually a "controller." I would continue applying withy the FAA and in the meantime look for an ATC job not associated with the Army. Our route may be more difficult, but I you have skills you'll make it.

  5. #5
    struts10's Avatar
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    Re: Army Reservist Air Traffic Controller

    Honness=onus.

  6. #6
    flybyfive's Avatar
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    Re: Army Reservist Air Traffic Controller

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeATC View Post
    Mike it isn't reserves that is the issue, it's the word Army controller (no offense intended). The problem is that as a whole Army controllers don't do well in the contract or FAA world because they usually don't have busy fixed wing tower experience with their helicopter experience, they usually only have remote field time working just helicopters.

    Whenever we had former army controllers (some with several alledged CTO's) most didn't know any aircraft types (GA or Air Carrier), or basic aircraft performance. The last former army controller that I trained called every aircraft a cessna, this guy couldn't even identify a B767 (huge size difference) parked among B737's and regional jets, needless to say he didn't certify even after he was given lots of additional training time.

    Hopefully you'll be able to find a tower that will take a chance on you so that you can list other than army atc experience.
    Mike, you seem to have met only a few Army controllers that rubbed you wrong. Of the three FCT near my home, all three have former Army members. My friend works at a TRACON. There are a few that received heliport CTO's out of training or other duty stations, but the majority of controllers I know have worked airfields from Korea to Baghram.
    The majority of us take our job seriously and are proficient in our jobs.

    To the OP, there are current panels open. I heard Kuwait is a good time. Good luck

  7. #7
    Senior Analyst

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    Re: Army Reservist Air Traffic Controller

    Quote Originally Posted by FoggyWindow View Post
    Train dispatchers work in a field that is highly subsidized by the government. Keep that in mind.
    Are you crazy ?! WTF?!

    The FAA and Contract towers are all subsidized....some FCT's are partial subsidy.

    One FCT only does 7K ops per year and is fullly subsidized. (Branson MO)

    For the person posting:

    Look at: Union Pacific
    BNSF Railway Company - Reduce transportation spending by using BNSF's reliable intermodal service
    Norfolk Southern - The Thoroughbred of Transportation | Creating green jobs shipping freight by rail | Norfolk Southern ? The Thoroughbred of Transportation | Creating green jobs shipping freight by rail
    cpr.ca
    cn.ca

    Also try: railamerica.com They are a short line company that owns a lot of properties but pays lower....this is a good place to start though. They have a crew scheduling and dispatch center in Vermont. They are hiring for crew scheduling right now and that is a good job to slide into dispatch later.

    The mainline rail companies pay about 80K starting once you are checked out.

    NONE of the railroads above are directly subisdized like the FAA or FCT. You also do not pay into Social Security.

    BART in San Fran is always hiring train controllers and likes ATC experience. They are public and subsidized and pay 94K starting.

  8. #8
    FoggyWindow's Avatar
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    Re: Army Reservist Air Traffic Controller

    Quote Originally Posted by mjh55404 View Post
    Are you crazy ?! WTF?!

    The FAA and Contract towers are all subsidized....some FCT's are partial subsidy.

    One FCT only does 7K ops per year and is fullly subsidized. (Branson MO)

    For the person posting:

    Look at: Union Pacific
    BNSF Railway Company - Reduce transportation spending by using BNSF's reliable intermodal service
    Norfolk Southern - The Thoroughbred of Transportation | Creating green jobs shipping freight by rail | Norfolk Southern ? The Thoroughbred of Transportation | Creating green jobs shipping freight by rail
    cpr.ca
    cn.ca

    Also try: railamerica.com They are a short line company that owns a lot of properties but pays lower....this is a good place to start though. They have a crew scheduling and dispatch center in Vermont. They are hiring for crew scheduling right now and that is a good job to slide into dispatch later.

    The mainline rail companies pay about 80K starting once you are checked out.

    NONE of the railroads above are directly subisdized like the FAA or FCT. You also do not pay into Social Security.

    BART in San Fran is always hiring train controllers and likes ATC experience. They are public and subsidized and pay 94K starting.

    Dude, dont get your labias all twisted up. That is what I've found in doing some of my own research while waiting for a school date. If you know more about it then kudos to you. However, I've been warned about taking a train dispatcher job due to the uncertainty of that industry. I'm passing along that warning to another member.


    If you want to fight about it you can meet me at the monkey bars at lunch.

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