Faa + ANG = Bad Idea?

May 13, 2010
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Beaver Falls, PA
This is kinda a question geared toward a controller actually working, but all are offered their opinions. After I graduate from my CTI school in a few years, I was thinking about joining the National Guard. Mainly because my family is military oriented, but anyways. Is this a bad idea? Pretty much, what I am asking is will this hender or help my ability to get picked up, or will it not matter, and/or is it too much to take on when getting sorted out with all the FAA stuff?

-Matthew.
 

SCOPED

Senior Analyst
Nov 21, 2010
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Gods Country, Alaska
There are several people where I work that are in the FAA and are guard but were established in the ANG before they became controllers. I think it would hinder your training for ATC if you are also training for ANG. I would get established in the FAA and then go ANG, not worth the risk to train in two new jobs at one time.
 

CaffeinJunkie

Rookie
Apr 8, 2011
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I'm a former ANG/FAA controller so I thought I'd chime in... ANG is not a bad way to go, you'll get good training, good exposure to ATC, and it will keep you employed while you wait on the FAA. The real problem I can see is that once you start training in the ANG your stuck until your certified (IE if the FAA calls you up and says be in OKC in a week you can't).
Now, by law the FAA has to hold your job for you while on active duty (which is what you are on when you first enlist and go into ATC in the ANG.) I have a friend who I flew with (I later commissioned and started flying) who got hired in one of the off the street hirings just before he went to Officer Training School and flight school. The FAA just took a copy of his orders and held the job until he had finished all the military schooling. Only issue he ran into was that they did not hold his original facility so he ended up playing "needs of the FAA" at the time he came off orders. (They did offer him a facility I would have killed for.. lucky bastard. But thats a different story.)

One other comment about what Scoped said; there is no way that you will be training with the FAA and the ANG at the same time because of how the military training goes. You are locked in full time until you certify or wash out.

Keep in mind, if you enlist in the ANG there are not guarantees that you will get a CTO. You could be slotted to a radar position (and vise-versa)...

Also, stay away from the AF Reserves and the Army Guard/Reserves; To my knowledge the AF Reserves does not have actual ATC positions, as where the ANG has dedicated ATC squadrons.

I'd say stay away from the Army because, from my experience, the AF trains/operates in regards to ATC, in a way that is much more similar to the FAA.

The other thing that I have noticed about the Army Guard/Reserves is that they are much less apt to work with you when your civilian job schedule conflicts with drills and annual training (and it will, especially while your trainee in the FAA)... Disclaimer about the Army: I have never been in the Army but I have worked with Army controllers (while wearing the uniform and while both of us were in the FAA or DoD contracting) and these are personal observations...
 
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P_to_the_R

Ruler of the Movement Area
Nov 19, 2008
521
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funkytown
I am in the Air National Guard. Its pretty sweet. You will end up doing some drills using annual leave and/or your days off because you only get 120 hours per year for military duty. Stay away from National Guard and the AF Reserves. Things are a bit different with them.
 

xGIOx

Rookie
Oct 4, 2009
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I was also Air Guard/FAA so if I thought I would chime in as well. My honest opinion is that it becomes more of a headache than anything else. For one if I remember correctly as a federal employee you are given 15 days of military leave not 30 like some state employees. So what happens when your days off are T/W or Th/F. Well you end up burning all you military leave to attend drills but if you do your math correctly you'll see that you won't have enough mil leave for your yearly two week commitment. So what ends up happening is that you start tapping into your annual leave. I'm sorry I played toy soldier active duty for six years, I don't care to use my VACATION time to play around for two weeks.

So I would not attend the two week drill and my unit rightfully so would be upset. Again I vacation with my family 2-3 times a year so my annual leave is just for that. Honestly I can't understand why someone would use their personal vacation time to attend military functions. What my unit couldn't comprehend is that unlike 99% of my unit I didn't have the weekends off. Such a hard concept for them to grasp. Anyways after 2 years I submitted my resignation in writing and was released. When I initially signed up I misread the fine detail between fed employee and state employee. Where I'm at now state get 30! Weigh the pros and cons, with a cushy M-F 9-5 you can do it but in ATC good luck!
 

goaves2011

Senior Member
Sep 14, 2010
172
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Kerrville
I've also been trying to weigh my options considering ANG and FAA and though I'd love to go FAA, I could move around in the ANG. I used to fly and have an advanced aviation background and would like to return to that. I'm thinking of enlisting not only for myself, but for my family. I have a second child on the way and need a better salary.
 

daveozzie999

Senior Member
Aug 15, 2009
249
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MRY
It's convenient that this topic was brought up because I've been contemplating the ANG lately as well. I'd only be applying to fighter wings though for pilot slots. The odds of getting selected are very low but I've told myself if I never at least try I'll be disappointed.

My question is: If I get CPC in the FAA (hopefully within 6 months from now) is there anything that says that my current job would still be waiting for me after pilot training (assuming I'd be lucky enough to be selected of course)? I definitely wouldn't leave until CPC if leaving at all so I could be certified and eligible for rehire but I don't think I'd even risk it at all if the FAA wouldn't hold my job. Any input would be great!
 

imua

Newcomer
Aug 21, 2009
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It's convenient that this topic was brought up because I've been contemplating the ANG lately as well. I'd only be applying to fighter wings though for pilot slots. The odds of getting selected are very low but I've told myself if I never at least try I'll be disappointed.

My question is: If I get CPC in the FAA (hopefully within 6 months from now) is there anything that says that my current job would still be waiting for me after pilot training (assuming I'd be lucky enough to be selected of course)? I definitely wouldn't leave until CPC if leaving at all so I could be certified and eligible for rehire but I don't think I'd even risk it at all if the FAA wouldn't hold my job. Any input would be great!
To find the information you are looking for do a google search for ESGR or USERRA. The bottom line is, they are required by law to let you attend pilot training, drills, active duty. Your initial training if selected will be to attend the Academy of Military Science at Maxwell AFB AL. Then you would go on to UPT. The more pressing issue would be if the Commander of your squadron would be flexible enough to let you make up your drills. He/She may use the law to make you attend scheduled drill weekends. This can become a problem if you do not have weekends off and have a limited amount of annual leave. You are allotted 120 hours of military leave per fiscal year, which does not cover all the drill weekends and the annual training (15 days). You may find yourself in a situation where you are burning your annual leave or taking leave without pay just to attend drill weekends and annual training. In my opinion this is the main consideration of whether or not to join.
 

daveozzie999

Senior Member
Aug 15, 2009
249
0
16
MRY
Thanks a lot for the information!! And as far as I'm concerned serving my country by flying... Dang... Definitely worth a little annual leave. Thanks again!
 

needajob

Newcomer
Jul 4, 2008
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You don't have to be a CPC to go on leave without pay(LWOP) for military duty. I've been on LWOP for over two years and am still employed as a developmental with the agency.

Also, I read that you can use any of your accrued leave before using LWOP including sick leave. However, they cannot make you use your leave. So you could save your leave, take LWOP, and let the military pay cover the difference. Just a few options to think about.