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Thread: Marine Aviation Question
07-21-11, 10:52 AM #1
Marine Aviation Question
Hello,Im thinking about joing the Marines through PLC or OCC to become a pilot. I really do want to be a Marine aviator and I'm about to go into my sophmore year of college, so I'm thinking about doing PLC next summer if I can qualify for it (As you can see in my sig, i'm not quite there yet, but im definitely working on it). I talked to an OSO last year about Marine PLC and he said that he had 3 aviation slots available and that they were guarenteed.
Now, I'm not sure weather i'm being misled or not. I've heard from others that yes they do in fact guarentee certain slots, but being the skeptic that I am I want to know if there is anything misleading about being guarenteed a slot (IF i am even accepted to PLC and make it through. Which is a whole different thing althogether.)
I saw a previous thread submitted by titobastard (or something, i don't remember his name exactly at the moment of typing this), but he didn't have a profile set up so nobody answered his question.
Oh and a profile is just having a signature under your name right? THis is just to give some general info about the individual. I just posted my PFT results. If there is anything i'm missing I'll correct it ASAP. Thanks again.
07-21-11, 10:57 AM #2
Go back and fill out the profile page. Marines here don't mind answering questions but we like to know who we are answering.
There are several Officers of Marines here on and off during the week and they will most likely be the best source of information for you.
I am not particularly brave, courageous, nor even very smart. But I am a US Marine which makes up for all my other failings. - DrZ
"Some people live an entire lifetime wondering if they've made a difference in the world, Marines don't have that problem." President Ronald Regan
DrZ is the internet name I selected in the early days at University. So keep in mind I never was a DevilDoc.
Si Vis Pacem Para bellum
07-21-11, 11:07 AM #3
07-21-11, 12:25 PM #4
Second - a PLC Aviation (or PLC-Air) contract is a guarantee of sorts. It is a guarantee that if you meet all of the requirements that you will receive orders to flight school after you finish TBS for the opportuntity to train to be a Naval Aviator or a Naval Flight Officer. The timing of those orders may vary based upon the needs of the Marine Corps and the length of the training pipeline at the time.
So, what does that mean?
First, you sign the PLC Aviation contract and assuming you meet the physical, moral, and academic requirements for OCS, you will go to Quantico (PLC, OCC, whichever program is appropriate).
Second, you complete OCS and you earn your bachelor's degree and you remain physically and morally qualified (vision remains good, no physical problems, no legal problems, etc). At this point you would be commissioned a second lieutenant with a temporary MOS of 99XX - which would be an untrained aviation officer. Those who commissioned under a PLC Ground contract would be 99XX - unrestricted ground officer.
Third, you go to The Basic School - TBS. You complete the same requirements and curriculum as every other second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. For aviation lieutenants only a few things are different:
- you'll probably choose to wear safety glasses on field exercises and on the firing ranges so that you don't run the risk of damaging your eyes - which might void your flight contract if you become Not Physically Qualified (NPQ).
- you'll go through a series of flight physicals periodically througout your time at TBS, to ensure that you remain physically qualified to become a pilot or Naval Flight Officer.
- assuming that you remain qualified, you will not go through MOS selection at TBS when everyone else does.
Upon completion of TBS, depending on the needs of the Marine Corps and the back up in the pipeline at Pensacola - you will either receive orders to flight school or orders to some temporary duty while they wait for your slot to open up at P'cola.
When you get to P'cola, you will enroll in flight training. Your performance at P'cola (and the needs of the Marine Corps) will eventually determine which aircraft you fly.
Be advised, at any point in the process you can "wash out" - whether it's becoming NPQ'ed for vision or injury, getting a DUI, screwing up academically... you name it.
The guarantee is that if you hold up your end and remain qualified, you are guaranteed to get a shot at becoming a Naval Aviator or Naval Flight Officer (it is not a guarantee that you'll become one).
Note - if you do wash out at any point after being commissioned, then you will be assigned a new MOS and fulfill the terms of your commission.
-- Also, hopefully your OSO told you this, but the minimums published for OCS (first class PFT and a 2.0 GPA) aren't currently shipping to OCS. In most cases you'll need a 280 or better PFT and a better GPA. OCS is very competitive right now -- more candidates than there are slots.
07-21-11, 12:44 PM #5
Also, in regards to the flight physical. I did fly in college for a while. I recieved a First Class medical certificate in December of 09. I have soloed and was about to do a cross country stage check when my medical was taken away (almost a year after the physical) because I told the person administering the physical that I had ADHD and was on medication. However I made it clear that I have not taken medication in the 2 years preior to the examination and that I performed well without it. I have good grades in college, have soloed and accomplished alll of these things and my medical certificate was taken away after "Further review". I'm wondering if I have to get my medical certificate back (After a series of expensive psych evaluations because it was ADHD) before I can apply. OR would the physical eval administered by the military cancel it out? Also I wear contacts but my vision is correctable to 20-20
07-21-11, 01:38 PM #6
Those are questions for your OSO - I'm not in a position to answer them for you.
One note - the corrected vision may be an issue. Once upon a time, it was a requirement for entry into the PLC-Aviation program that you had 20/20 uncorrected vision. I do not know if that's still the case.
07-21-11, 01:50 PM #7
"To become a pilot in the Navy or Marine Corps, an applicant's uncorrected vision can be no worse than 20/40 (correctable to 20/20) in each eye. Once flight training begins, vision can deteriorate to no worse than 20/100 (correctable to 20/20) in each eye. After flight training graduation, if the eyesite deteriorates worse than 20/200 (must be correctable to 20/20), the pilot will require a waiver for carrier operations. If the vision deteriorates past 20/400 (correctable to 20/20), the pilot is restricted to aircraft with dual controls (ie, aircraft with co-pilots)."
I might not meet the requirements, so I'll probably have to reassess whether or not I want to go to OCS and become an officer. BEcause mainly I want to be a pilot. However if I can't then I can't. I still want to be a Marine though. I might go the enlisted route as a mortarman or machinegunner. Nonetheless, i'm going to keep on training anyway. I want to earn the title.
07-25-11, 09:44 PM #8
If your only reason for joining is the opportunity to be a pilot, I would suggest that you reevaluate your decision.
I am an aviation-contract at TBS right now. Lieutenants in companies before me, in my situation, have done things such as IOC after TBS and a deployment as a rifle platoon commander before IFS/API/Primary. While IOC wasn't the common route, a short tour of duty in a non-flying assignment was and is the norm at the moment. The point of my story is that as a Marine Officer, your duty is to the enlisted Marines. You are not special just because you are eventually going to flight school. You will be held to the same standard as all Marine Officers and you will have the same duties and responsibilities as all other Marine Officers. Your status as a Marine Officer should come before your status as a student Naval Aviator/fully-fledged Aviator; because that is what is expected of you.
Think of it this way; 5 years from now supposing you became a pilot, if someone asked you what you do, how would you respond?
If you believe you would say anything other than, "I am a Marine," then this profession just might not be for you.
However, best of luck to you.
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