Facts About Military ATC to Civ. ATC

Alnando215

Junior Member
Apr 12, 2015
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Orlando Fl
AF ATC VS NAVY ATC

Hello everyone. I wanted to get all my facts straight before I go to MEPs. I am currently 25 years old. I want to enlist and get into ATC for either the Air Force or Navy. For the AF, I would have to serve a six year enlistment ( Ill be 31); for the Navy, I can serve 5 years ( ill be 30). I will also go in as an E3 as well for both branches. I would like to apply for the FAA in the future and from what I've heard, the AF will provide me with more opportunities to get my important qualifications. The Navy provides them as well but is not as easy.
Second, From what others have said, I can apply for the FAA while still in active duty. As long as I have the TOL before my 31st birthday, Ill be able to transfer my career into the FAA. This will technically freeze my age limit. Can anyone verify this for sure? If this is true I think Ill go for the AF. I know I can apply for the DoD and they will take me up to my 36th bday. But If I apply after my 31, they wont allow me to transfer to the FAA.


Other details and Questions
Air National Guard wants prior experience. I already check!
Can anyone offer any pros and cons to each branch? No trying to bash on any of them just want to know facts.
Which one will offer tower or radar faster? Im guessing the AF will offer them faster.
From the research that I've done, the FAA is expected to hire thousands of controllers up to the year 2022. A lot of controllers from the Reagan era are about to retire...supposedly
can anyone provide information regarding deployment for both af and navy


 

JamesEarlJones

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2014
258
17
18
this is what we in the FAA call.... betting on the come. You are betting there will be an FAA announcement when you are getting out. Don't.

If you want to be an FAA controller... go to a school that offers a cto and maaaaybe join the guard if thats your bag.. End of story....
 

Alnando215

Junior Member
Apr 12, 2015
101
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Orlando Fl
Going to a cti school is also a maybe. I know a few people who went to school and still can't land a job with the faa. Plus i would have to spend more money on school for a big maybe. The BQA is also a major obstacle to overcome. Even for those who went to school
 

JamesEarlJones

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2014
258
17
18
Going to a cti school is also a maybe. I know a few people who went to school and still can't land a job with the faa. Plus i would have to spend more money on school for a big maybe. The BQA is also a major obstacle to overcome. Even for those who went to school

I didn't say go to CTI school. I said go to a school that offers a cto.


Air Traffic Control School Air Traffic Controller Training / Academy / College - Advanced ATC Valdosta Georgia United States

is your best bet now
 

morajor13

Trusted Contributor
Jan 20, 2015
788
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I would do AIR GUARD but they want prior experience. According to the recruiter...
Which recruiter? You need go call ALL the recruiters that have ATC units. I have personally recently seen kids come in with no prior exp.
 

morajor13

Trusted Contributor
Jan 20, 2015
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I spoke with a recruiter in upstate New York. Syracuse New York.
Yeah you need go talk to more recruiters, location probably doesn't matter to you since you're about to join AD. But there's a bunch of units across the country that have ATC.
 

ajmezz

Epic Member
Apr 8, 2010
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I didn't go to AATC, but quite a few of them have actually been picked up by the FAA, so it's worth looking into. GulfCharlie is a recent hire from there, but don't think he is around anymore.
 

Alnando215

Junior Member
Apr 12, 2015
101
0
16
Orlando Fl
Re: AF ATC VS NAVY ATC

Second, From what others have said, I can apply for the FAA while still in active duty. As long as I have the TOL before my 31st birthday, Ill be able to transfer my career into the FAA. This will technically freeze my age limit. Can anyone verify this for sure? If this is true I think Ill go for the AF. I know I can apply for the DoD and they will take me up to my 36th bday. But If I apply after my 31, they wont allow me to transfer to the FAA.
Can anyone help me with this question ?
 

ajmezz

Epic Member
Apr 8, 2010
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HR has always said that as long as you have a tol by your 31st bday, your age is locked in and yes, there are people currently on active duty that have tol's. You gotta remember that just because the faa is doing it this way now, doesn't mean they won't change a year or 5 years from now. Nobody knows for sure what hiring will be like from year to year at this point, let alone 5. If you want to do atc for a career, there are plenty of other avenues besides the faa and the military can definitely set you up for that. You need to be ok with the fact that even if you get the proper ratings and experience the faa wants, doesn't necessarily mean you will be hired. Plenty of people have aged out trying to go faa, so I would highly recommend not getting tunnel vision on just trying to get in with them as your level of disappointment will be much higher if it doesn't happen. Best of luck to you and I hope it all works out in the end.
 

morajor13

Trusted Contributor
Jan 20, 2015
788
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I didn't go to AATC, but quite a few of them have actually been picked up by the FAA, so it's worth looking into. GulfCharlie is a recent hire from there, but don't think he is around anymore.
He is still around, he has the name DaOsprey now...
 

KevH

Junior Member
Feb 21, 2014
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I spoke with a recruiter in upstate New York. Syracuse New York.
Syracuse has an AOC (Air and Space Operations Center). Controllers there would work in the combat airspace cell, which requires previous experience as controller. Even if they would take you it wouldn't help you with your goal of getting in the FAA since it would be non-qualifying experience. You want to look for openings at air traffic control squadrons (ATCS). These would take non-prior service so long as you are eligible to enlist and an opening exists. Ten squadrons currently exist:

258th ATCS (Johnstown, PA)
260th ATCS (Pease, NH)
235th ATCS (New London, NC)
297th ATCS (Kapolei, HI)
259th ATCS (Alexandria, LA)
241st ATCS (St Joseph, MO)
245th ATCS (Eastover, SC)
248th ATCS (Meridian, MS)
243rd ATCS (Cheyenne, WY)
270th ATCS (Klamath Falls, OR)
 

Alnando215

Junior Member
Apr 12, 2015
101
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16
Orlando Fl
Syracuse has an AOC (Air and Space Operations Center). Controllers there would work in the combat airspace cell, which requires previous experience as controller. Even if they would take you it wouldn't help you with your goal of getting in the FAA since it would be non-qualifying experience. You want to look for openings at air traffic control squadrons (ATCS). These would take non-prior service so long as you are eligible to enlist and an opening exists. Ten squadrons currently exist:

258th ATCS (Johnstown, PA)
260th ATCS (Pease, NH)
235th ATCS (New London, NC)
297th ATCS (Kapolei, HI)
259th ATCS (Alexandria, LA)
241st ATCS (St Joseph, MO)
245th ATCS (Eastover, SC)
248th ATCS (Meridian, MS)
243rd ATCS (Cheyenne, WY)
270th ATCS (Klamath Falls, OR)
would these be a full time/active duty or fall under a reserve/ part time ?
 

KevH

Junior Member
Feb 21, 2014
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Those are the 10 Air Guard ATC squadrons. Most members are part-time, but there are several full timers. Full timers are either AGR (similar to active duty) or technicians/title 5s (GS-2152 civilian controllers). Technicians have an added requirement to be part-time members of the unit as well. The way it would work for a non-prior service is:

Basic Military Training (BMT) 8.5 weeks
ATC Tech School 15.5 weeks
Facility Upgrade to earn a CTO (tower rating) or RAPC (RADAR approach rating). Generally 6-15 months.

You'll be full time through all of those parts, but you may have some gaps. For example, you might finish BMT and not start tech school for a couple months. In between you would be part-time. After you finish facility upgrade you will be part time maintaining currency.

I'm not sure how the FAA views part-time experience. A few years ago I was given a little runaround for the VRA announcement, but eventually I was deemed qualified and am currently a CPC. My understanding with this most recent experienced bid is they actually looked at hours to determine eligibility. Something like you needed to show 2080 hours of experience, so as a part-time Guardsman it would take you longer than a full-timer. Someone else would know more about it than me though.
 

ajmezz

Epic Member
Apr 8, 2010
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Part time. Every now and then you will see bids pop up on usajobs for "title 32" positions within these units. Those are full time slots, I believe referred to as AGR, in which you wear the uniform but it's a DOD position so it would lock your age. They typically require 3 years experience though. I had a position offered to me (regular part time guard) with the units in St Joseph's, MO and Johnstown, PA without prior service. You just have to get in contact with the recruiters to get the process started. The recruiter with Johnstown just put my name on a list and contacted me when a spot was available. There was a few month gap from the time I made initial contact to getting an email offering me a spot, so you'll want to have patience. Also, think long and hard about the guard. Once you're done with upgrade training (get facility rated), you switch from full time to your guard part time status so you'll want to have another job lined up until something comes along. I decided against it bc there was no way I could afford my place in MD during upgrade training or flights to MO for my drill weekends. Everyone's situation is obviously different so weigh the pros and cons.
 

Alnando215

Junior Member
Apr 12, 2015
101
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16
Orlando Fl
I see. I need to mKe sure. If I go to meps for the navy I won't be allowed to work with the Air Force recruiter any longer. They both said that the job might be available. I wish I would get a solid answer before meps. I would like to do the af and if things go right apply 3-4 years in for the faa. Im considering the navy as well. The fact that the contract for the navy is one year less seems more appealing to me.
 

meanjoe

Trusted Member
Apr 23, 2011
490
6
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IMHO a 6 yr commitment at your age is a mistake. You're likely to only have one shot on one announcement IF you're lucky and IF things continue on as they are now. A 5 yr commitment is gonna still be tough on you. I'd suggest the navy just to buy yourself another year. DOD jobs are very tough to come by. I'm gonna guess there are only about 1500-2000 dod controllers out there. Good luck to ya. You're in a tough spot.