Looking for some guidance

Currently a freshman at a local state college (in the aviation program). I am debating between doing military flying, or trying to go directly to a regional. Is one looked down upon over the other?.. Thanks!

I am a current student with ATP, and I also served, although without flying. From what I’ve gathered the industry would view you very similarly with military flight as they would with a school like ATP. The main question is whether you want to make the personal sacrifice of serving your country. You should never look at the military as a way to gain something, although you will gain more then you foresee. If you want to serve then you should serve. If you want to be an airline pilot, the military is possibly not the most efficient route.service is not for everyone, and that is perfectly ok. The decision should be made on whether you are willing to give away what ultimately could be one tenth of your life under contract and believe in yourself enough to know that nothing will go wrong in the flight training portion of that contract. If it does you will be given another job that may be related to flying or it may not, but the time on the contract remains either way.
All that being said, there is nothing like having served, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Just be realistic with your options, and give it the due diligence it deserves in your research. Don’t just commission for the uniform, or the flight time or whatever else. Choose that path if you want to become a leader of men, and have the weight of the world on your shoulders. You have to be willing to give part of yourself away to the cause.
Good luck, and I hope this helps.


Matthew is 100% correct. Neither is looked down on (not sure why you think they would be) nor will either give you a better leg up. What’s key is if you want to serve you country then by all means do so but I know many former and current military pilots and not one would recommend the enlisting as a route to an airline career.



Thank you for the reply! I wouldn’t even mention serving if I didn’t truly want to. The commitment is a such a small amount of time for what I will be gaining. The experiences, knowledge, and ability to help people sounds like an amazing opportunity. That said, I love flying, and cannot see myself not following my passion everyday. I come from a family with many who served, I understand the sacrifices involved. I feel the military is a blend of me serving both my community/country, and loving my job.

Thank you for the reply! I would like to serve, but if I am medically unable I’d like to have a another way to follow my passion.The standards are nothing like the FAA first class medical, so I’m trying to figure out a couple options.

Thank you for the reply! I would like to serve, but if I am medically unable I’d like to have a another way to follow my passion.The standards are nothing like the FAA first class medical, so I’m trying to figure out a couple options.

Keep in mind that many military pilots do end up being assigned to drones, which does absolutely nothing to advance your career in the airlines. In the Navy you can be assigned to helicopters, which won’t do much as for as your airline career is concerned. Just know that those are risks when going the military route.


Upon further research, I’ve found that ANG units allow for a pilot to select what airframe they’d like to fly. Once training is complete this airframe is guaranteed. I agree though, that was a worry for me. Thanks for the reply!

Something about that does not sound right to me. Each ANG unit typically flies one, or maybe two, types of airplanes. If you apply to the West Virginia Air National Guard and make it through training you will be flying either the C-130 or the C-17. Those are all they fly, so that is all you could possibly chose from.

Are they telling you that you can chose the airframe before you start training? Which unit is this you are speaking of? What do they fly? I am curious to know more about what you are being told as it does not correlate to the knowledge that I have of the ANG and would hate to see you make a career mistake because some recruiter is promising things that they cannot actually deliver.


It was explained to me like this. You do not select an airframe directly, you select a base first and fly whatever airframe they have at the base. I would like to fly a c-17, so I am only applying to bases with that airframe. If accepted into those bases I will enter training knowing my airframe, opposed to an active duty pilot who will be given an airframe based on the needs of the AF.

In regards to the base I was looking at, North Carolina Air National Guard. If hired by their airlift wing (at Charlotte ANG base), there is a 100% guarantee I will fly the c-17. But, there is no guarantee they will hire me.

I appreciate the concern, I will be sure to not make any decisions in haste. Exploring the guard option, in my opinion, is a lower risk commitment.

When explained that way it makes sense. I am glad you are investigating all of your options.