PLEASE HELP!!! USMC or NAVY ATC CTO!!!

navyguy

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Dec 4, 2015
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If I get sent on a carrier in the navy, the FAA doesn't care about my hours (from what I understand), but, if I were a marine, I wouldn't serve on a carrier and I would be put on a base, no matter what, so what I'm worried about is if I join the navy theres a chance that i might be put on a carrier and NOT get my CTO, so would it be better for me to just go the marine route?
 

lowapproach

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Oct 29, 2010
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I'm pretty sure that you can end up on a carrier as a Marine also, and there are plenty of former sailors in the FAA. The branch of service to pick is the one that guarantees you ATC with the shortest service commitment.
 

planetalkerkp

Senior Member
Jun 15, 2008
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Marines don't go to carriers as air traffic controllers, but some do go to tactical units and may not get CTO's there. There are more than twice as many Navy controllers working at towers/approach controls than on carriers at any given time.
 

Ram_Tough

Trusted Contributor
Jul 5, 2010
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As a Marine controller you will go to a normal Air station straight out of the school house. There it's up to you, depending on how hard you work, on whether or not you get a CTO or any other qualificication that the FAA cares about. You won't go to a tactical unit until you get at least a little experience under your belt. Actually, with deployments as few and far between these days as I hear they are, you may not ever go to a tactical unit and probably could spend all of your first enlistment at a station unit.

Marines generally dont control on ship. You may get the opportunity to deploy on a ship but, you will be doing the same thing the rest of the Marines are doing, sitting around.
 

SPOONY90

Trusted Contributor
Jun 11, 2014
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I spent 5 years on station in the corps. Got a NYL CTO and now working contract for now. You won't go to a "tactical" unit till you have quals. At least ground and data or CD and PAR. But when I left a year ago, a lot of people were being sent to station to train and get quals cause deployments were really slow
 

NovemberEcho

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Dec 8, 2010
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Judging from how some of the AF prior experience guys have struggled so far on ground apparently that's not a sure fire way to get experience either...
were they radar only in the AF? In which case they have as much experience as the Marine tower only guy that washed here. He never should have been sent here to begin with. But I digress, I was referring to quals for FAA hiring, which I know you know, but you had to get your dig in, so I accept it.
 

ATCMarine84

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Aug 23, 2009
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Prior Marine controller here. What none of these prior guys are telling you is... Wait for the next OTS bid. The FAA and union treat you the same anyhow. Just making an observation after 5 years in the agency and two cpc ratings. Same job and yet you have people who never heard of ATC while you were working live traffic who are senior to you. I've seen prior military controllers who are CPC rated and get passed over for a sup job by a guy who was OTS and had 3 years of CPC FAA experience. You get to a facility and no matter what your experience you'll get talked to like day 1 at the school house. If at all possible get in OTS... That is just as good as prior military controller in the eyes of the agency.
 

navyguy

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Dec 4, 2015
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Prior Marine controller here. What none of these prior guys are telling you is... Wait for the next OTS bid. The FAA and union treat you the same anyhow. Just making an observation after 5 years in the agency and two cpc ratings. Same job and yet you have people who never heard of ATC while you were working live traffic who are senior to you. I've seen prior military controllers who are CPC rated and get passed over for a sup job by a guy who was OTS and had 3 years of CPC FAA experience. You get to a facility and no matter what your experience you'll get talked to like day 1 at the school house. If at all possible get in OTS... That is just as good as prior military controller in the eyes of the agency.


Thanks for the advise/ help, but I'm sorry, I don't get it; I should apply as OTS (off the street) as opposed to what VRA? i just don't know how this works
 

NovemberEcho

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Dec 8, 2010
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give it a shot applying on the next no experience bid. you might get hired and not have to do the military to get experience at all. unless you want to do the military anyway. i did 6 years AF and don't think I regret it.