Military Transition (Non-Pilot)

Hello, my name is Colton. I’m a Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy and have been in the service for 5 years. I am starting my new shore tour job at Naval Station Newport in July this year. I have two years left on my commitment and then I plan to leave service and become a pilot. I want to use my time while working a very routine job in Newport to begin my new career. I’m very curious about payment methods (accept GI Bill payments at all? Or have someone on staff that understands that process?) and also about timeline. I’m a serious worker and my goal is transition out of the military into a job that at least pays me (instructor at least). I would love to talk to someone. Appreciate your time.


You cannot use your bennies for ATPs program (other than checkride fees) nor would you be able to do your training with ATP while you’re still in the service.

If you’re thinking of training part time you’d really need to contact your local flight school. I do know there are yearly limits so chances are you wouldn’t be able to complete your training (using the GI Bill) within those 2yrs.



I would suggest that you try and at least get a head start with your ppl and build some flight time while you’re still active. There was a guy in the barracks who I served with did that to get a jump start. That was the first time I flew in a small airplane!
You could also study for the various written exams and take them as you’re about to complete your enlistment since the scores are only good for so long.
This will give you a huge head start with your training!
As far as the Gi Bill, I see on the website it states that you can use it for your ATP CTP and if you want to use it for Airbus A320 rating!



A few things, let’s start with GI bill benefits. You can only use those for examiner fees at ATP which is roughly $7k (but fluctuates based on state and individual examiner fees). Plus the ATP/CTP course, but these days pretty much amy airline you get hired for will cover the cost of that course anyway.

Written exams are only good for 24 months. If you take the exam, make sure you can complete the associated checkride within the time period or the written expires and you have to take it again.

You could try and get the Private done part time at a local school and plan to start ATP credit private once you’re out. However, it could be costly and not very efficient plus the risk of creating bad habits that would have to be overcome starting a professional career pilot program. Credit private is the last entry point in to the ATP program so if you complete the instrument phase you would have to figure out the rest of toe training on your own as well.

We recommend you just wait until you’re out. Start completing written exams in your last 6-9 months, apply for financing, complete your intro flight and get a start date set. That way as soon as you’re out you can hit the ground running.