National guard and flight training

Hi there I’m Aaron, first time asking a question on here, I was wondering if it’s possible to serve in the National Guard and pursue flight training with ATP at the same time. My closet ATP location from me would be about 2 hrs away. Is this possible or would I have to serve out my commitment with the guard first if I joined? Any advice or tips much appreciated thanks.


I believe it has been done with the caveat that while the one weekend a month can be worked out the 2 full drill weeks really can’t. Nor would you want them to. Successful flight training is dependant on consistency and taking 2 full weeks off can seriously derail your progress.

I’m actually more concerned with the 4hr commute. The program requires a tremendous amount of time and dedication. There’s alot of self study but somewhere in there you need time for rest. There will be some late nights and early starts. I’d consider ATP housing or another solution.


I know 2 people who commuted 2hrs each way when the program was 9months.

Both finished all Commercial ratings but:

  • 1 ran out of money prior to CFI school (due to remedial training). Took almost 1 year before he found a Commercial pilot job at 240hr TT.
  • 1 was delayed due to remedial training and lack of availability.
    I know a few Guard guys that went through, took some scheduling delays but made it.
    Good news is we are all flying and made over $100k doing it last year.

4hr commute is probably 200miles @ 25mpg @ $5/gal x 5 days per week = $200/wk in gas.
At the Federal mileage rate (includes fuel & wear costs) of $.56/mile = $540/wk.

My overall thought is that commute is crazy in both lost time and cost. I’d look into closer housing.

Chris F


I think a two hour commute is too much. That is four hours per day in the car, often before or after a long day. You will need that time for studying and sleep. I think a commute during the program should be max one hour each way, preferably shorter.